Since the introduction of the BNO visa scheme in January 2021, we have successfully handled over a hundred of BNO visa cases involving criminality record. This includes theft, sexual offences, assault, traffic, corruption, fraud, smuggling and drugs related offences. Details of each category are listed below:
Obtaining Property by Deception
Committing an act outraging public decency
Behaves in a disorderly manner in a public place
Fighting in a Public Place
Claiming to be a member of a triad society
Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm
Possession of offensive weapon in a public place
Driving a motor vehicle with alcohol concentration above the prescribed limit
Agent accepting an advantages
Conspiracy to defraud
Making false report of commission of an offence
Possessing of a false instrument
Dealing with goods to which dutiable commodities ordinance applies
Engaging in bookmaking
Aiding and abetting an attempt to export regulated native specimens
Possession/ Selling/ Distributing/ Offering of unregistered pharmaceutical products for the purpose of sale
The UK Immigration Rules for applicants with criminal record are stated below:
An application for entry clearance, permission to enter or permission to stay must be refused where the applicant: (a) has been convicted of a criminal offence in the UK or overseas for which they have received a custodial sentence of 12 months or more; or (b) is a persistent offender who shows a particular disregard for the law; or (c) has committed a criminal offence, or offences, which caused serious harm.
Nature of the offence First of all, we will need to understand what type of criminal record the applicant has committed, and whether its nature has caused serious harm to others, physically and psychologically, or to society as a whole. According to the Immigration guidelines, it is specifically mentioned that some of the criminal cases, such as violent acts, sexual offences, drug-related offences, may be regarded as serious harm.
Number of offence(s) The second consideration is the number of crimes committed by the applicant, whether it is a single or multiple offences will also have an impact on the application. According to the Immigration guidelines, the definition of persistent offender is the number of crimes committed regularly within a period, whether it shows a pattern of offending over a period of time.
The Sentence The last consideration is the penalty or sentence received by the applicant. If the applicant has been sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more, the application will be refused.
Our Recommendations If the applicant has a criminal record, we recommend the applicant to apply for a Criminal Record Summary from the police, and more importantly, seek professional advice to prepare the application to increase the success rate of the application.
If your application is refused, the UK Home Office will issue a refusal letter detailing the reasons for the refusal. At this time, if you believe that the refusal reason was wrong, you can apply for an administrative review within 28 days upon receipt of the refusal letter.
We strongly recommend visa applicants to seek professional legal advice before applying for an administrative review to understand the feasibility for the administrative review application, the reasons to be prepared, the legal provisions cited, etc. In our experience, the current processing time for an administrative review is at least 6 months.
Since the introduction of the BNO visa, we have successfully applied for administrative review and overturned the refusal decision of the UK Visa and Immigration. After we receive the refusal letter, we will understand further about the applicant’s criminal record, case details, incident history, growth background, family situation, and prepare a detailed legal submission with relevant legal arguments to explain to the UK authority as to why the application should not be refused.
If you have any queries about your BNO visa application, you can contact our team to schedule a phone call for further advice.