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Thomas, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7430
Experience:  BA (Hons), PgDip, Practising Solicitor
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Hello. I have been caught shoplifting in Dec 2011. What

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I have been caught shoplifting in Dec 2011. What happened was, I went to a high street shop do some daily shopping, i put my own shopping bags which already have some other purchases from different shops into the shopping basket. I did not realize i have accidentally put some tablets which only worth about £3 into my own shopping bag. I have purchased 5 items at the till but i have not notice the sixth item was in my own shopping bag. When i left the shop, the security stopped me outside the shop, he asked "have you got anything that was not been paid?", I was shocked and quickly checked my shopping bags, then i realized that yeah i have not paid the tablets. I said yes I am really sorry, i did not even notice, I can make the purchase now but he refused to listen and took me to the private room. 30 minutes later, police was called and again they only listened to the security guard. I felt very upset and annoyed as the security guard said i was caught on CCTV and the evidence was there. I said i fully understand the tablets are in my own shopping bag but i did not mean to "steal" it. I had made purchased for 5 items at the till what is the point for me to "steal" the sixth item.

At that point nobody listened to my explanation which made feel very angry. Police took my details down (like DOB, address) and left,they did not give me any penalty. The shop made me to sign a paper regarding to Civil Recovery Demand and let me go. Even though I have not done anything intentionally wrongful, i still apologized to the shop in the end.

A few weeks later, I have received a claim from Retail Loss Prevention. I was not sure if i should pay the claim as i did not mean to do anything wrongfully, however at the same time, i did not want this incident affect my work and life anymore. I was very stressed since the incident as i can not explain myself and i can not talk to anyone apart from my partner. Finally we decided to pay for the fine and move on.

I am going to apply indefinite remain leave in May 2012.
My question is:

1. Do I need to declare this incident on the application form in section 7 as follows:

Do you or any dependants who are applying with you have any criminal convictions in the UK or any other country (including traffic offences) or any civil judgments made against you?

2. Does this incident classified as criminal offense or civil judgment?
3. I believe I have got a police record from this incident as my detail has been taken down, even though i have not got any fixed penalty fines from the police, shall i still declare it?
4. I do not mind to declare my incident and i do mind to explain the situation over again but the fact was i have committed shoplifting and signed the paper on that day, because that was the only way they would let me go. I do not know how to explain this incident on my application form, shall I just admit that i have committed shoplifting or shall I try to explain the whole incident from my side of view.
5. If I do not declare this incident, what the consequences could be?
6. In my case,do u think this incident will affect the outcome of my indefinite remain leave visa application.

Many thanks.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Thomas replied 4 years ago.
Hi April,

Thanks for your reply.

There is obviously a requirement when applying for ILR that an applicant must be of good character. This means that you should not have any unspent criminal convictions. You have not received a conviction and thus they could not reject on the basis of this alone.

However, my advice in these circumstances would be to disclose and mitigate. You should put “see covering letter” and in your covering letter with the application explain the full details of the incident stressing that hsi was simply an oversight and that no criminal proceedings followed despite the police being fully informed. Refer to your good character and previous good record of behaviour. Get a couple of character references as well and include these with your application

If you do not declare then there is a very, very remote possibility that the UKBA if they found out about it might construe it as a form of deception, but as I say you should get around this by disclosing and mitigating as above.

Provided you otherwise meet the eligilbity criteria and do the above I would not expect this alone to lead to a rejection.
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