On 6 April 2016, a new requirement was added to the already consolidated version of the Immigration Rules, giving the Home Office power to refuse an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain in the UK on the basis of a litigation debt owed to the Home Office.
“Litigation Debt is a debt owed to the Home Officer where the court or Tribunal has ordered another party to pay its legal cost.”
According to paragraphs 320(23) or V3.14A of the Immigration Rules, UK entry clearance or leave to enter visa application should normally be refused if there is a litigation debt owed to the Home Office. An application made under Appendix Armed Forces or Appendix FM should normally be considered under paragraph 10A or Part 2 of Appendix Armed Forces or paragraph S-EC.3.1 or S-LTR.4.4 of Appendix FM.
As for leave to remain applications, if there is any outstanding litigation cost owed to the Home Office, under paragraphs 322(13) and V3.14A of the Immigration Rules a UK visa application should normally be refused. This applies to all visa routes except of Appendix Armed Forces, Family and Private Life, where an application should be considered under paragraph 10A or Part 2 of Appendix Armed Forces or paragraph S-LTR.4.4 of Appendix FM.
It is important to note that debts of any size are considered by the Home Office to be a serious matter. Even though an application should not automatically be refused, individual circumstances of each case would be considered. Please also note that the Home Office decides an immigration application based on the evidence provided by the applicant and any information provided by the Litigation Finance Team relating to a litigation debt.
If you have a litigation debt owed to the Home Office and you intend to submit an application for leave to enter or remain in the UK, please do not hesitate to contact our immigration team for legal advice.
Please note that the information on this page is for general purposes only and is not intended to replace legal advice.