EUSS Family Permit. Application refused. Submitting false information or documents

Your application for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit may be refused if you use false or misleading information, representations or documents, and if the false or misleading information, representation or documentation is material to the decision made on your application.

In translation, if you provide information, make representations or submit documents which are false or misleading, your application may be refused. But if after removing from your application the false or misleading information or documents the decision maker is satisfied that your application can be accepted based exclusively on the evidence that is not false or misleading, the application may be accepted.

Where the entry clearance officer decides to refuse the application, they must be sure that it is proportionate to do so. What does it mean in practice? It means that each case should be decided on its own merits, and that the decision must be balanced with the degree of dishonesty and with the intention to deceive of each applicant, and with the weight of the false information in relation to the entire evidence submitted. There are cases where the false information is negligible and provided by error, and cases where applicants forged documents to deceive and to determine the entry clearance officer to award the entry clearance.

Let’s use this example:

Andreea is the daughter of Peter, an EU citizen having pre-settled status in the UK. Andreea lived at some point in the past in the UK, but she was outside the UK between 1 July 2020 and 31 December 2020. She cannot apply for pre-settled status in her own right. In February 2021, being outside the UK, she applies for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit, to join her father in the UK.

Andreea is 23 and must provide evidence of her relationship with her father and of the fact that she is dependent on Peter. She submits her birth certificate and evidence of the fact that Peter regularly sends her money.

In 2019, whilst she was in the UK, Andreea moved with Peter to another house, but did not update her address on her vehicle log book (V5C). One day, she drove her car and committed a speeding offence, without being aware of that. The police asked DVLA for the details of the registered keeper of the vehicle, and was provided with Andreea’s former address, where she could not receive correspondence anymore.

As Andreea did not receive any letters from the police, she failed to provide the requested details of the driver committing the speeding offence. The case escalated to the court. The court served her with a summons to Andreea’s former address, but received no response from her. She did not make a plea online, and she did not attend the court hearing. Andreea was convicted for failing to disclose the identity of the driver, received 6 penalty points and a £660 fine. The penalty has been registered by DVLA against her name.

When applying for the Family Pemit, Andreea was not aware of all these things and responded with “No” to the question if she has ever received a penalty for a driving offence.

The entry clearance officer notices that she actually has a penalty, but considers that the conviction is not material to the decision. After all, Andreea demonstrated her relationship with Peter and that she is dependent on him. The officer accepts that perhaps she made a genuine and innocent mistake when answering the question about the driving offence. The application is granted, and Andreea receives the Family Permit.

It may also be possible for you to be unaware at all that some of the information or documents provided are false or misleading. Let’s imagine that you asked a third-party to provide you with a document. It happens many times, as applicants need various confirmatory documents from former jobs, schools or universities, or professional services from solicitors, public notaries, doctors or authorised translators. Let’s assume that, without your knowledge, you are provided with a document that is forged, or issued by a person having no right to issue it (a fake, non-authorised translator or doctor, for example). In good faith, you use the document in relation to your application.

In this case, the application may be refused, if the forged document is material to the decision. But if the document may be disregarded, not used when the decision is made, and the conclusion is that you may be granted entry clearance based on the other available evidence, then your application may be successful.

Your application may also be refused when you submitted false or misleading information not directly to Home Office, but to another person or entity in order to obtain a document used subsequently in support of your application for entry clearance.

In all cases, the decision-maker must examine whether the false or misleading information concerns your ability to meet the requirements for being granted the entry clearance. If the entry clearance officer comes to the conclusion that you can meet the requirements without using the false or misleading information, the Family Permit may be granted. Hence, both conditions must be met. The information or documents to be false, and material to the decision.

If you want to apply for an EUSS Family Permit and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.