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Section 3C Explained: A Flowchart for Human Rights Applications

As direct access barristers working at Richmond Chambers, we have had countless lay clients approach us with one question: am I protected by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971?  This can at times be a complicated question, particularly when the Home Office guidance on section 3C appears to be at odds with the natural interpretation of statute, an example of which can be found here.

Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971 Explained

At a time when the Home Office’s hostile environment towards those without leave to remain in the UK can have particularly harsh consequences, whether an individual is protected by section 3C is crucially important. Unfortunately, we have seen a very high number of lay clients who have been wrongly advised that they were protected by section 3C. Therefore, we have created a simplified section 3C flowchart in the hope that lay clients may understand their own status without the need to pay money for a lawyer just to ask this one question.



It should be noted that this flowchart is not meant to cover every single conceivable circumstance. Although the flowchart accommodates most circumstances, it only applies to those who have made, or intend to make, a human rights claim. It is not suitable for those who have made, or intend to make, a points-based system application (we might create one for PBS applicants if enough interest is there!).  Nevertheless, individuals would be wise to seek professional legal advice from a reputable lawyer to obtain solid legal advice if they are unsure about their current legal status. After all, there is a world of difference as to how the Immigration Rules might apply to an individual who is and is not protected by section 3C.

Contact our Immigration Barristers

For expert advice as to whether your leave has been extended by section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971, contact our immigration barristers in London on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.


To arrange an initial consultation meeting, call our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or fill out the form below.

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