In this article, I’ll explain how you can meet the Suitability Requirements for Entry Clearance Applications. These requirements apply to those who are outside the UK and want to apply to enter the UK. These requirements apply only to ‘Appendix FM’ applications. In other words, when you apply to enter the UK as a partner, parent, child of a parent with partner’s visa, dependant relative, a victim of domestic violence or as a bereaved partner.
Two Types of Suitability Requirements
There are two types of suitability requirements: mandatory and discretionary.
Mandatory is when the decision maker does not have any choice and has to refuse the application when it applies.
With the discretionary suitability requirements, the decision maker has a choice. He can either allow or refuse the application. They can also allow the applicant to rectify the mistake before reaching the decision.
There 8 mandatory and 5 discretionary grounds for refusal.
Mandatory Suitability Requirements
Remember, in these circumstances, the application will ALWAYS be refused.
No1 The Secretary of State has made a direction. According to this direction, the exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good.
No2: The applicant is currently the subject of a deportation order.
No3: The exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good because they have:
(a) been convicted of an offence with imprisonment of over 4 years; or
(b) been convicted of an offence with imprisonment between 12 months to 4 years. This is unless a period of 10 years has passed since the end of the sentence, or
(c) been convicted of an offence with imprisonment of less than 12 months. This is unless a period of 5 years has passed since the end of the sentence.
If you need further guidance on how the Home Office approaches the criminality issues, you may read further guidance HERE.
Requirement No4: The exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good because, for example, the applicant’s conduct (including convictions which do not fall within paragraph S-EC.1.4.), character, associations, or other reasons, make it undesirable to grant them entry clearance.
There is More
No5: The applicant has failed without reasonable excuse to comply with a requirement to-
(a) attend an interview;
(b) provide information;
(c) provide physical data; or
(d) undergo a medical examination or provide a medical report.
No6: It is undesirable to grant entry clearance to the applicant for medical reasons.
No7: The applicant left or was removed from the UK as a condition of a caution issued in accordance with section 22 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 less than 5 years prior to the date on which the application is decided.
No8: The Secretary of State considers that the applicant’s parent or parent’s partner poses a risk to the applicant. That person may pose a risk to the applicant if, for example, they – –
(a) have a conviction as an adult, whether in the UK or overseas, for an offence against a child;
(b) are a registered sex offender and have failed to comply with any notification requirements; or
(c) are required to comply with a sexual risk order made under the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 and have failed to do so.
Discretionary Suitability Requirements
Here the decision maker has a choice and can either allow or refuse the application:
First Requirement: Whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge-
(a) the applicant provided false information, representations or documents in relation to the application. This includes false information submitted to any person to obtain a document used in support of the application); or
(b) there has been a failure to disclose material facts in relation to the application.
Second Requirement: The decision maker requested a maintenance and accommodation undertaking. However, the application has not provided it.
Third Requirement: The exclusion of the applicant from the UK is conducive to the public good because:
(a) within the 12 months prior to the date on which the application is decided, the person has been convicted of or admitted an offence for which they received a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on their criminal record; or
(b) in the view of the Secretary of State:
(i) the person’s offending has caused serious harm; or
(ii) the person is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law.
Fourth Requirement: The applicant’s application may fail if he did not pay litigation costs awarded to the Home Office.
Fifth Requirement: The decision maker may refuse the application if one or more relevant NHS bodies have notified the Secretary of State that the applicant has failed to pay charges in accordance with the relevant NHS regulations on charges to overseas visitors and the outstanding charges have a total value of at least £500.
What Do You Do if You are Caught By One of the Above Suitability Requirements?
If one of the suitability requirements for entry clearance applications applies to you – take steps to rectify the problem. However, if you one of the mandatory grounds for refusal applies – the application WILL be refused. The same is with the discretionary grounds for refusal applies and cannot rectify the problem you need to seek legal advice to see if you can overcome this problem. Do not take your chances if your application does not meet one of the discretionary suitability requirements. This is because, despite the fact that they are ‘discretionary’, you need to provide the decision with very important reasons, which will persuade him or to exercise the discretion in your favour.