Judicial Review Permitted into Government’s Treatment of Individuals with 3C Leave

section 3c leave


The High Court has granted permission for a Judicial Review into the UK Government’s treatment of people with ‘3C leave’.

Under Section 3C of the Immigration Act 1971, individuals who make an in-time application to extend their lawful status in the UK are automatically granted a temporary right to stay in the UK which protects their existing rights while their application is being processed. However, the Government does not provide those on 3C leave with proof of their immigration status. This can lead to numerous problems for individuals with section 3C leave, such as issues proving their right to work or study, or when claiming benefits.

The migrant and refugee charity RAMFEL found that in 2022, 17% of those on 3C leave suffered serious detriment and predicted as many as 40,000 people each year could be facing wrongful suspension from work. In light of these issues, the charity brought a legal challenge against the Government.

The High Court has now granted permission for a Judicial Review into the Government’s treatment of those with 3C leave and to establish whether this conduct is unlawful.

If this practice is found to be unlawful, we should expect changes in government policy, which could include providing confirmation of a person’s rights and entitlements whilst on 3C leave.


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Last updated: 8 February 2024


Founder and Managing Director Anne Morris is a fully qualified solicitor and trusted adviser to large corporates through to SMEs, providing strategic immigration and global mobility advice to support employers with UK operations to meet their workforce needs through corporate immigration.

She is a recognised by Legal 500 and Chambers as a legal expert and delivers Board-level advice on business migration and compliance risk management as well as overseeing the firm’s development of new client propositions and delivery of cost and time efficient processing of applications.

Anne is an active public speaker, immigration commentator, and immigration policy contributor and regularly hosts training sessions for employers and HR professionals

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As employer solutions lawyers, DavidsonMorris offers a complete and cost-effective capability to meet employers’ needs across UK immigration and employment law, HR and global mobility.

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