Two analysis items of ECO assessment of applications guidance

Example One:

3. ECB10.3 Checking the passport

Applicants’ passports and travel documents should be carefully examined for previous immigration history*. See ECB07 – Returnability and ECB08 – Acceptable travel documents for further guidance. 

* This internal Entry Clearance guide item indicates the seriousness of placing ‘refused signals’ in applicants’ passports: in effect placing these signals place such applicants who are subject to this type of Hostile Environment victimisation, marks them as having a criminal/undesirable status, and automatically makes any subsequent application they make likely to be viewed with suspicion and as such declined, albeit the ECO (overseas) or UKVI Caseworker (in the UK). 

Knowing of the importance of passport records, it is impossible that the architects of the Hostile Environment did not utilise the latter as a basis for genuine applicants who have had their applications treated unprofessionally and their passports defaced by such signals. Certainly, those placing such black marks in passports would have clearly known when they took such destructive action, that the applicant would subsequently be ‘marked’ negatively. On this see below from a letter in our possession, that provides the Home Office response to placing signals (as confirmed below a criminalising type action) when no crime has been committed and the applicant has been rightly or wrongly, simply not granted his/her visa applied for.

… The significance of the signal used is widely recognised by UK and overseas law enforcement agencies.  I cannot comment on behalf of Foreign and Commonwealth Office colleagues in diplomatic posts abroad. Good practice is for refusal signals to be entered into passports only after any appeal or legal issues have been resolved.’

Home Office letter (CLS Technical Team, UKVI) 23rd May 2016

Example Two:

6. ECB10.6 Documents

Although there is no legal requirement for applicants to provide documents, there is a great deal of advice on websites at post and at the Commercial Partners informing applicants of the documents that would help support their application. The relevant part of the Visas and immigration section on this website gives advice on documentation. ….

The ECO should adopt a flexible approach, without compromising the integrity of the immigration control, with documentation submitted in support of an application. There will be circumstances where necessary documentary evidence is clearly lacking. The ECO / ECM has discretion to vary the documentation required to support an application.* 

* Interesting and valuable as a) it places ECOs and ECMs on the same level, whereas traditionally, prior to the onset of the Hostile Environment ECMs had the level of authority to assess an ECOs decision, whereas the reverse wasn’t the case, and b) having such discretion to vary the documentation gives great power based on subjective decision making/opinion because either this is given in the very secret UKVI Operating Mandate or else the Home Office in Whitehall have purposely or inadvertently failed to provide a table of documentation guidance list.

Reference link: