Would the Home Office ever lie to you?

The Home Office regularly refuse applications because that it does not believe applicants are telling the truth about their cases.

As a government department, one would expect nothing but complete honesty from the Home Office, all the more so because of the rigid standards of honesty it expects from others.

Sadly, it appears that the truth is sometimes compromised and explained away as a mistake or misunderstanding (excuses which the Home Office regularly rejects when made by others).

Last year, I applied for a Travel Document for a client with indefinite leave to remain.

I enclosed my client’s original Biometric Residence Permit  (BRP) card with the application.

The Home Office eventually granted the Travel Document and returned all the original documents … apart from the BRP card.

I expected that this would be sent on a later date as normally happens.

After waiting some time for the card, I wrote to the Home Office reminding them that we had not yet received her BRP card.

The Home Office responded

“From our records only a photocopy of the BRP card was submitted with the application for a travel document.

If this BRP card has been lost, your client will need to make an application for a replacement using the BRP (RC) application form.”

This clearly contradicted with my own records which showed that the original BRP card had been submitted.

I responded requesting them to search again and if they had lost the BRP card, to confirm they would provide a complimentary replacement card .

When I heard nothing further from the Home Office, I lodged an official complaint earlier this month.

Today, I received a fresh BRP card for my client in the post without any explanation.

No explanation.

No cover letter.

No request for payment for the replacement BRP card

No response to the complaint.

No apology.

Just a brand new BRP card which confirmed to me that the Home Office had been a little economical with the truth when they originally replied to me.

If an Applicant to the Home Office had been behaved similarly, he would have been been treated as using deception and hit with a ten year ban from the UK.

Incidentally, in July this year, the Home Office amended its guidance for travel document applications to now repeatedly stress to applications NOT to send their BRP cards with the application form.

Have you had a similar experience? I would love to hear about it – please share it in the comments section below.


Visadreams.com,  Diary of an Immigration Lawyer, is a blog run by Fahad Ansari, the director and principal solicitor of Riverway Law, a niche UK immigration and nationality law practice based in London.  If you would like any advice or assistance in relation to your immigration matter, please do not hesitate to email me at fahad@riverwaylaw.com or submit your details here.

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