The UKBA has released a statement to corporate partners asking that information should be relayed to community groups in a bid to ensure awareness regarding making an application for ILR after the expiry of 5 years leave to remain as a refugee.
Prior to August 2005 refugees and those awarded humanitarian protection were granted indefinite leave to remain. From then onwards they were granted 5 years limited leave to remain.
The then Government announced in 2005 that at the end of their five years limited leave, subject to the outcome of any review and to the policies in place at the time, refugees would be eligible to seek indefinite leave to remain (ILR).
The first refugees (and those awarded HP) to have been granted five years limited leave will reach the end of their leave from August 2010 onwards.
Applying for further leave to remain
Individuals granted refugee status and humanitarian protection with 5 years limited leave from August 2005 can apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) from August 2010.The application should only be submitted in the month before the individual’s current leave expires.
Applications should be made using the form SET (Protection Route), which will be available for download via the UKBA website, from July 2010 onwards.
It is in the interest of refugees and those with humanitarian protection to apply in time (i.e. before the expiry date of their leave) to ensure the speedy resolution of their case and the continuation of their leave.
The form has been designed with the applicant in mind and to be straightforward. The evidence and documents required for each application are listed on the form and further help is provided via the website.
There will be no fee payable when submitting an application for ILR on the settlement protection route.
It is recommended that the applicant retains a photocopy of their immigration status document before submitting the form and any associated documents by registered post. The applicant will receive an acknowledgement letter as proof of receipt.
Consideration of applications
All applications will be dealt with in the North West. Current service levels are 95% of applications cleared within 6 months, although the UKBA will strive to conclude applications earlier.
It will not normally be necessary for UKBA to conduct an in-depth review at this stage. However, in considering applications for ILR, the UKBA will check whether refugees within paragraph 339A of the Immigration Rules, which sets out the conditions under which a refugee’s leave might not be renewed or could be revoked. These may include, for example, instances of an individual’s criminality, obtaining a national passport, voluntarily returning to the country of persecution or where circumstances come to light that indicate a person should not have been recognised as a refugee in the first place. Likewise, the UKBA will check whether those with humanitarian protection fall within paragraph 339G of the Immigration Rules.
Where there is evidence that an individual represents a danger to the UK then the UKBA will take steps to revoke their status and start enforcement action.
They will also conduct more in-depth reviews where a refugee submits a late application, or has not applied for indefinite leave to remain at all. Again, these reviews may lead to consideration of revoking refugee status and enforcement action, where appropriate.
Once the application has been decided the outcome will be sent via registered post, and, if successful, immigration status will be confirmed via a new status document. This will need to be kept safe, as it ensures access to services and mainstream benefits.
ExceptionsThese arrangements do not affect those individuals who qualified for a grant of Discretionary leave following the consideration of their asylum claim. They should continue to apply for further discretionary leave or indefinite leave to remain, as appropriate, under the current rules using the same form as now, form HPDL.
Form HPDL can be found on the UKBA website at the following address:
Source: UKZambians.co.uk/RBM Solicitors
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