Clause 19

Part of UK Borders Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:00 am on 15th March 2007.

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Photo of Joan Ryan Joan Ryan Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Home Office, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 9:00 am, 15th March 2007

It might be helpful if I remind the Committee that we are talking only about in-country appeals under the points-based system. Under that system, there will be no appeal in relation to out-of-country applications, because if one of those applications is refused a new application will be made. It is important to remember that the measures apply to in-country appeals relating to points-based applications. The obligations that I refer to relate to justice. Later I shall cite some specific examples that will, I hope, illuminate the circumstances in which new evidence on appeal will be allowed.

In order to avoid injustice, the new provisions for appeals must come with appropriate safeguards. Everybody who is refused leave to enter or remain and who has a right of appeal under existing legislation will continue to have that right. This clause simply restricts the evidence that can be presented at an appeal against the refusal of an application under the points-based system.

New evidence will always be allowed where it is presented in support of an appeal brought on the grounds that the decision was racially discriminatory or in breach of the appellant’s right under the European Community treaties, the refugee convention or human rights legislation. New evidence will also be allowed in cases in which the Home Office alleges that a document that has been provided with an application is forged or not genuine. The applicant might not be aware that that is an issue until the allegation is made, so it gives him or her a chance to clear his or her name.