Amir can get UK visa if PCB, ECB jointly ap­peal to visa of­fi­cer

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

LON­DON—Pak­istani crick­eter Muham­mad Amir will get visa to en­ter the United King­dom only if Pak­istan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Eng­land Cricket Board (ECB) present a joint ap­pli­ca­tion to the En­try Clear­ance Of­fi­cer in the Bri­tish High Com­mis­sion when the con­victed crick­eter ap­plies for the UK visa, a lead­ing im­mi­gra­tion lawyer said on Sunday.

So­lic­i­tor Dr Ak­bar Ma­lik told a TV chan­nel that as per im­mi­gra­tions rules in the UK, Amir can ap­ply for the visa af­ter April 2017. He ex­plained that Amir was con­victed and sen­tenced in Novem­ber 2011 and sen­tenced to less than 12 months.

Five years will be com­pleted in Novem­ber 2016 but the rules state that the visa time pe­riod lim­i­ta­tion af­ter the jail con­vic­tion has been com­pleted so that’s an­other 6 months in the case of Amir.

He ex­plained that Para­graph 320 of the im­mi­gra­tion rules says that: “Grounds on which en­try clear­ance or leave to en­ter the United King­dom is to be re­fused: … (2) the fact that the per­son seek­ing en­try to the United King­dom: … (d) has been con­victed of an of­fence for which they have been sen­tenced to a pe­riod of im­pris­on­ment of less than 12 months, un­less a pe­riod of 5 years has passed since the end of the sen­tence.”

Dr Ak­bar Ma­lik said that it will only be in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances that the “pub­lic in­ter­est in main­tain­ing re­fusal will be out­weighed by com­pelling fac­tors”. He said that the ECB and the PCB will have to in­form the visa of­fi­cer as to how it’s in the pub­lic in­ter­est to al­low Amir back into the UK “oth­er­wise re­fusal of visa is manda­tory”.

Dr Ma­lik said that Amir’s visa re­fusal “would not be con­trary to the Hu­man Rights Con­ven­tion or the Con­ven­tion and Pro­to­col Re­lat­ing to the Sta­tus of Refugees, so it will only be in ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances that he will be given visa”. He said that a joint ap­pli­ca­tion by the ECB and the PCB will clear all hur­dles for Amir.

He said: “There is no hu­man rights claim. But, if he is able to show that there are ‘ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances’ and ‘com­pelling facts’ he can get en­try be­fore Novem­ber 2016. If Pak­istan and Eng­land Cricket Boards are go­ing to make sub­mis­sions in sup­port of his ap­pli­ca­tion, the en­try clear­ance of­fi­cer may con­clude that in this case en­try should be granted on the ba­sis of ‘ex­cep­tional cir­cum­stances’ and ‘com­pelling facts’, though five years have not yet been passed since the crim­i­nal con­vic­tion.”

How­ever, he said that in the case of Salman Butt and Muham­mad Asif it would be im­pos­si­ble to ob­tain visa at this stage be­cause Salman Butt was jailed for 30 months for his part in the con­spir­acy to bowl de­lib­er­ate no-balls and Mo­ham­mad Asif for one year and none of them en­tered the early guilty plea.

They can ap­ply af­ter ten years have passed be­cause they were con­victed for more than a year. He said the re­fusal of visa is manda­tory be­cause “where a per­son has been con­victed of an of­fence and sen­tenced to be­tween 12 months and 4 years’ im­pris­on­ment, un­less a pe­riod of 10 years has passed since the end of the sen­tence”.—Agen­cies

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