Clause 19

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

I will come to that question in a moment when I reply to the hon. Member for Ashford.

To finish the point that I was making, for the same reason that applies to the forged documents the clause will also allow an appellant to submit new evidence in order to contest a reason for refusal that does not relate to his or her entitlement to points under the points-based system. That is designed to avoid injustice, for example in a case in which an appellant has enough points to qualify for leave but is refused because, according to the immigration and nationality directorate’s records, he has a criminal conviction that makes his presence here undesirable.

The appellant might want to provide evidence that the conviction relates to someone else and not to him; he may have to submit that evidence after he has been refused, because he may not know about the alleged conviction until the refusal. Those are the types of circumstances in which we would expect to be able to allow new evidence. The tribunal will decide whether evidence comes within the exception.

The hon. Member for Hertsmere asked how far the points-based system will extend. It will extend through all five tiers: skilled workers and business people; skilled workers with work permits; unskilled workers; students; and youth mobility and temporary workers.

The hon. Gentleman also asked about the presence of appellants at appeals, but as the proposal applies only to in-country appeals it is always possible, if not desirable, for the appellant to be present at the appeal and nothing should stand in the way of that.