On 22 February 2023, we wrote to HMRC and the Home Office on behalf of a group of migrants regarding the differential treatment of public servants like Nadhim Zahawi MP and migrants in relation to alleged tax discrepancies.
For the last few years, we have been working with the Highly Skilled Migrants Group and Tier 1 visa holders who have been denied indefinite leave to remain (ILR) in the UK by the Home Office on the basis of historical self-employment ‘tax discrepancies’.
Clause 322(5) was used to determine that the individuals in question were ‘undesirable’ to settle in the UK on the basis of their ‘character’ and ‘dishonesty’. The undesirability of permitting the person concerned to remain in the United Kingdom in the light of their conduct (individual convictions which do not fall within paragraph 322 (1C), character or associations or the fact that they represent a threat to national security.
In 2019, the Migrants’ Rights Network successfully intervened on behalf of the Highly Skilled Migrants Group and Tier 1 visa holders. The judgement stated that the Secretary of State at the time believed that the discrepancies were the result of deliberate misrepresentation to either HMRC or the Home Office. However, the Tier 1 visa holders stated that the errors were the result of “carelessness” or “ignorance”, not dishonesty. Prior to the dismissal of Mr Zahawi from the Cabinet, HMRC concluded that he was “careless” rather than “deliberate” in relation to his taxes.
We believe that the differential treatment of Mr Zahawi in comparison to T1GMs demonstrates a significant contradiction that is of interest to the public. If Mr Zahawi has been acquitted, then we ask why migrants are being penalised. There cannot be one rule for the wealthy and one rule for migrants.