The gov.uk immigration rules state:

10.The power to refuse leave to enter the United Kingdom or to cancel leave to enter or remain which is already in force is not to be exercised by an Immigration Officer acting on his own. The authority of a Chief Immigration Officer or of an Immigration Inspector must always be obtained.

And also:

10.B Where a person arrives in the United Kingdom with leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom which is already in force, an Immigration Officer may cancel that leave.

These appear to be conflicting rules. Can an immigration office cancel leave to remain, or not?

  • 1
    Why do you care?
    – JonathanReez
    Mar 30, 2017 at 16:45
  • It is not obvious to me where you see a conflict. Can you please explain? Mar 30, 2017 at 17:29
  • The rules would seems to say that an ordinary Immigration Officer can cancel a leave to remain if they have the approval of a Chief IO or an Inspector. From the visitors point of view that just means the cancellation will take a bit longer than if the IO could do it on their own. Mar 30, 2017 at 17:39
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo Point 10 states that an IO must get the authority of a CIO or an immigration inspector. Point 10B states that an IO may cancel, and does not state that they must obtain authority. I found that confusing. The answer below clears up the confusion by explaining that IO is a broad term for all ranks, and I had not realised that.
    – Rob Peart
    Mar 31, 2017 at 5:23

1 Answer 1


When an Immigration Officer (IO) determines that an leave-to-enter is to be refused or cancelled, he explains the situation to somebody in his reporting line and gets their agreement. Normally this will be a Chief Immigration Officer. An "Immigration Officer" is any person designated by the Home Secretary to act in that capacity and who has taken an oath to serve HM. On the rare occasion you can see a Police Constable temporarily acting in that capacity.

The rules also provide for an Immigration Inspector to get involved, but I have never seen it happen.

These appear to be conflicting rules.

Define 'conflicting'. The rules (as opposed to laws) are a product of distilling about 35+ various acts of Parliament into a contiguous stream of text that people can refer to without having to wade through a mountain of legislation. The process invites ambiguity and people on both sides (i.e., the person and the IO's) benefit from it. We like it. If a piece of ambiguity becomes intolerable, the Tribunal can step in and provide a clarification. And if a Tribunal's decision does not work in a given situation, the Upper Tribunal can step in and help out.

Can an immigration office cancel leave to remain, or not?

The IO will need permission from a CIO before cancelling leave to remain. If it is at a port of entry Paragraph 10A is the controlling reference point.

  • 1
    Thank you for your clear explanation. By 'conflicting', I was confused that Point 10 states that an IO must obtain authority, but Point 10B does not.
    – Rob Peart
    Mar 31, 2017 at 5:27

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