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Does a traffic Offence Affect Indefinite Leave to Remain?

Many people ask us whether traffic violations can affect your application to settle in the UK. If you’re wondering this very same question, then read on to find out…

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If you hold Indefinite Leave to Remain, it means you’re settled in the UK and free to live, work and study here without the need to conform to the usual immigration rules.

In order to obtain ILR, there are a number of requirements you must meet. As well as needing to spend a specified period of time in the country, before you’re accepted you’ll also need to demonstrate you’re of ‘good character’, which essentially means you’ve always respected the laws of the land and you’re not involved in any criminality.

While any offences relating to immigration laws are treated most seriously, any action that lands you in trouble with the law could negatively impact an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

With that in mind, you might be wondering if a traffic violation could harm your chances of settling in the country, so here we’ll discuss that and help give you a clearer understanding of this topic.

does traffic offence affect ILR

Automatic refusal

First off, before we discuss whether a traffic violation will see your ILR application rejected, let’s take a look at the offences and sentences that will see your application for ILR automatically refused.

Paragraph 322(1C) of the General Grounds for refusal states that your ILR application cannot be accepted if any of the following apply to you:

  • You’ve been convicted of an offence for which you were sentenced to imprisonment for at least 4 years;
  • You’ve been convicted of an offence in the last 15 years for which you were sentenced to imprisonment for at least 12 months but no more than 4 years
  • You’ve been convicted of an offence in the last 7 years for which you’ve been jailed for less than 12 months
  • You’ve received court disposal that is recorded on your criminal record within 24 months before the date of your application for ILR

Will a traffic offence show on my criminal record

As stated in the last section, any court disposal that’s recorded on your criminal record during the past 12 months will automatically bar you from being granted Indefinite Leave to Remain. That means if you need to go to court and you’re found to be at fault, you won’t be able to settle until a period of at least 2 years has passed since your conviction.

If your traffic violation is just a minor offence for which you’ve received a fixed penalty, the best thing to do is just pay the fine and the matter will be settled. That way you won’t need to go to court and it won’t show up on your immigration record, meaning you’ll be eligible for ILR.

However, if the offence is of a more serious nature, such as dangerous driving or severe speeding, the police will file a report and the matter will be heard in court. If this happens and you’re convicted, this will be recorded against you and you won’t pass the ‘Good Character’ part of the application, meaning you’ll be automatically banned from obtaining ILR for a minimum of 2 years.

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Driving on a foreign licence

Those from overseas may be able to drive on UK roads with a foreign licence for up to 12 months, but keep in mind that if you commit even a minor driving offence then the rules could be very different.

When driving on a licence issued in another country, if you’re stopped by the police it won’t be possible to give points on your licence, so instead your traffic violation will be recorded as an offence.

Consequently, this could affect your Indefinite Leave to Remain eligibility, so be mindful of this exception to the rule.

Do I have to disclose my convictions?

Although it may be tempting to lie about any previous convictions, honesty is always the best policy.

As part of your application for ILR, you’ll be required to provide evidence of all your incidences at court. Failure to disclose any convictions on your Set 0 application form will mean you’re in breach of the UK’s immigration laws, and if caught you’ll be deported and it’s likely you’ll be unable to settle here in the future.

Bear in mind that fixed penalty notices for minor offences are not classes as convictions, so there’s no need to disclose these when you’re making your application.

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How can our Newcastle immigration lawyers help?

If you have a traffic violation – or any other conviction for that matter – then you might be wondering how this will affect your application for Indefinite Leave to Remain. Here at Newcastle Immigration Lawyers, we speak to people in this situation on a daily basis, and each of our caseworkers is experienced in helping those with convictions with their settlement application.

Immigration law can be a tricky and confusing subject, so if you have convictions that you think may affect your application then it’s best to speak to a legal professional who can help you assess your options and draw up an effective plan. That way you can be sure you’re making the right move based on your own individual circumstances.

Our immigration lawyers can help clarify the rules on convictions, give you advice on your next move, put together an application and even lodge an appeal, so for more information and to discuss how we can assist, speak to us today on 0191 303 8965.

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