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I applied for UK Tier 1 visa in 2009 from Pakistan. All the information in my application was correct and confirmed including my salary. The salary deposit into the bank account were also confirmed with my bank and acknowledged in the decision letter. However, unbeknownst to me the visa agent I was using to prepare the package had decided to copy and paste my company's signature and stamp on otherwise completely authentic payslips (the original payslip was computerized and did not have signature and stamps). This is why my case was rejected. I even have an experience letter from the company confirming my experience however I didn't go for administrative review because the company refused to support me at the time (they thought I had forged the signatures).

My rejection letter did not make any explicit mention of a ban or automatic refusal for the next ten years however it did say that my biometric records will be kept for 10 years.

Now I'm based in US and my employer here wants to invite me to London to their headquarters for 6 week training. I need to apply for standard visitor visa but am not sure if I am banned or not. How can I check? enter image description here enter image description here

  • You say the payslips were otherwise authentic. Why was the stated position in the company and income received different? – greatone Aug 19 '17 at 18:27
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You do not have a ban: paragraph 320 7a does not attract a ban, as acknowledged expert on the subject @GayotFow commented when you first asked on sister-site Travel Stack Exchange.

That said, a UK visa refusal under 320(7A) (deception) is serious and the refusal is one which you are obligated to disclose, when asked in subsequent visa applications to any country.

An @GayotFow response to a very similar query may cover what you ask here (excerpts, with author permission):

You presented a false document and were refused under Part 9 of the Immigration Rules, specifically Paragraph 320 (7A)...

  • (7A) where false representations have been made or false documents or information have been submitted (whether or not material to the application, and whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge), or material facts have not been disclosed, in relation to the application or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application.

This is a grave event in a person's immigration history. The UK abhors deception and treats it as an affront to their national character. Accordingly, the applicant's credibility is shot to Hell and getting another entry clearance is virtually impossible. Essentially it requires a judicial review lodged by an organisation like the JCWI and they have a backlog that goes from here to John O'Groats. The time window to lodge one by yourself has expired.

Perhaps it was your fault, perhaps not. It doesn't matter. Everybody in the world says it's not their fault when they get caught, and the Tribunal is numb to that argument. Deception occurs when a forged document is presented and they do not care 'whose fault' it is ("...whether or not to the applicant’s knowledge..."). Even if the employer comes forward and admit that they lied in a sworn statement, it's still your fault. Honestly, they get really upset about forged or fraudulent documents and they never forget it.

You can apply again, or any time you want. You just fill out the form and pay the fee and nothing prevents that. BUT... The refusal notice explains that a prior refusal under Paragraph 320 (7A) is automatically considered under Paragraph 320 (7B) the next time...

  • (7B) where the applicant has previously breached the UK’s immigration laws (and was 18 or over at the time of his most recent breach)by: (d) using Deception in an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain, or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application (whether successful or not);

And 7B spells DOOM. Under this Paragraph, the ECO has the option, but not the obligation, to impose a ban. Maybe he will, maybe he won't, but the risk is usually unacceptable unless the applicant is represented by an established solicitor with a nationally recognised practice area in representing clients who have been refused for deception. There are about 5 of them and they charge fees that are heart stopping, well over a year's salary for the average Indian national. If your new company will step up to the plate and instruct one, that would be great. Visit the Law Society or ILPA to locate one.

[A] solicitor with an established practice area in Paragraph 320 (7B) will know what to tell them. It's their job to think up exculpatory language and to put it forward in an eloquent way, it's how they make a living. I don't know of anyone who regretted instructing a member of the Law Society to unsnarl something.

Technicality: the 10 year ban was created in 2008, so we do not have the field experience of knowing their policy for what happens to an applicant when their ban has expired. We can start finding out in 2018 when the first person who was banned for deception (a spouse who had separated from her husband and didn't declare it to the IO) tries to apply. Currently it's unknown.

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    +1, I should add that the OP's lament: "However, unbeknownst to me the visa agent" is something everybody in the world wants to say when they get caught. In the date given, 2009, the OP was required to to enrol biometrics at a VFS and submit his application forward from that point. So he had physical possession of the bundle. They will invariably turn a cold-shoulder to a blame-shifting explanation (even if it's true). – Gayot Fow Aug 19 '17 at 17:00
  • thanks a lot for the great info guys. I have contacted one of the solicitors mentioned here but it really appears my best course of action is to not even try before 10 years, no matter how strong my visit visa application. Am I right? – luft hansen Aug 21 '17 at 17:17
  • @lufthansen I don't think you got advice that from a solicitor mentioned here. Please ping me from chat to help me understand better who would have provided such crazy advice Thanks. – Gayot Fow Aug 21 '17 at 19:50
  • Gayot Fow I meant that's the advice I gleaned from the message board above. The solicitor hadn't responded then but has now responded and I may engage them. Thanks. – luft hansen Aug 23 '17 at 5:05

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