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As a direct access immigration barrister I have been approached by a group of hard working Tier 1 entrepreneurs and am doing my level best to represent them. They are a clearly a hard working group who have been caught by yet another scam.

Firstly, of late there was the Cambridge College of Learning scam, where the College was not a proper Cambridge College and the course they “taught” did not, according to the to Tribunal exist.

We then had the TOEIC scam whereby individuals had others sit their English language scams for them.

Following hard on the heels came the IT Verticals Ltd and associated other company scams where money was being rotated round and round without any work being done.

The latest scam, and my clients have been caught up in it, involves innocent and not so innocent HMRC claims. My clients all had problems, mistakes in respect of their HMRC payments and only discovered it after they were preparing to make the applications. The Home Office however have decided to refuse their applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (“ILR”) on the basis of paragraph 322(5) of the Immigration Rules and the general grounds contained within the relevant rule. The Home Office appear to have ignored the representations and also the evidence put in afterwards that show that the clients had sought to rectify, as per the HMRC allows, their tax records and have done so and refused, without a right of appeal their applications.

What can be done.

I am gathering a group of people and we are planning a test case, hopefully with a renowned leader and tax lawyer on board. Secondly I would ensure that if you have ILR or an extension coming up you check you have paid your tax accurately, if the fault lies with you own it as soon as possible and if the fault lies with the accountant get the accountant to accept responsibility. Accountants like lawyers are subject to bodies so if you have been poorly served it is in everyone’s interests to get the application sorted out as soon as possible.

As I have said I am dealing with a large group of these cases and have gathered some expertise and knowledge. If you have a problem in this area I am offering a 50% reduction on my usual consultation and a special price on any JRs that follow.

If you or a family member has been caught out or faces removal instead of obtaining ILR as hoped please get in touch as soon as possible.

Paul Turner is a highly regarded direct access immigration barrister and is the head of Imperium Chambers, Grays Inn Buildings, Grays Inn, WC1r 5ET, he also practises from Goldsmith Chambers, the chambers of Anthony Metzer QC and is licensed by the Bar Council to litigate and to provide advice and representation directly to the public.