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Howard, Immigration Lawyer
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 459
Experience:  Senior Partner with nearly 20 years experience in UK Immigration Law.
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Hi,Im soon to apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain)

Customer Question


I'm soon to apply for ILR (Indefinite Leave to Remain) in the UK. However I have a number of PCNs that have turned into Form TE3s (or: Order for recovery of unpaid penalty charge (Parking)) from Northhampton county court. They are more than a year old, but remain unpaid as they are invalid (see below). I want to know if these (a) count as civil judgements or civil penalties (b) are likely to impact on my application and (c) if they are, how I can get them revoked.

The background behind the TE3s is as follows:

I got a temporary parking permit from Wandsworth council for 1 month when moving into the new flat, on 26 March 2012. Before the permit expired I needed to show proof of address to get a yearly permit. I sent / scanned-and-emailed in relevant documents 3 times before finally getting the permit approved on the 26 April 2012. I was concerned that I'd get tickets, as my initial permit was expiring and so phoned and talked to somebody at Wandsworth council, who assured me that there would be no problem and any tickets would be rescinded.

I then received a number of PCNs and so I phoned again and was re-assured when told that the tickets would be automatically rescinded. I was still concerned, because there was a delay with the delivery of the permit. Only at this stage did Wandsowrth inform me of the option for a two week extension to the temperary permit, which I took. After a further delay I emailed and Wandsworth issued a duplicate permit, which I received shortly after.

Subsequently I started getting communications telling me to pay the PCNs or appeal. At this stage I phoned up Wandsworth council and they again assured me that the fines would be automatically rescinded and I need not do anything.

Well, I went on holiday and on my return found a stack of brown envelopes. I opened one and saw that it was a Form TE3 (the first that I'd ever received). The 4 options for appeal on the Form TE9s (that accompanied the TE3s) didn't fit my case, so I just left it.

And that's about it, please ask if you need any clarification.

Since then I googled a bit about PCNs and read about council PCNs being different from police PCNs in that they're not criminal, the limited powers of bailiffs, etc. and the fact that PCNs are not binding contracts (as one never actually enters into them), so I thought they wouldn't be much of a concern. Now however I'm not so sure. Could you please answer a, b, and c above and offer any advice you might have.

Thank you,
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question and welcome to Just Answer. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Thanks for your interest in me but this isn't really my area.

This is just an immigration issue. I'll pass it onto somebody else.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi Jo,


Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX your answers to some other questions, but wasn't sure if you'd be able to help on matters of immigration, still worth a shot.


Please do refer me onwards, preferably to somebody you would recommend.



Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
You do not need to worry about this if it has not progressed to court. The PCNs are not criminal matters, do not form part of a criminal record and they should not have any negative effect on your ILR application. If you can get it resolved before applying for ILR then it is obviously a good idea but even with them you should still not be refused for having the PCNs.

However (this is important), you must NOT ignore the situation - that is how minor irritations become serious issues. Failure to pay or get these rescinded could become a criminal matter if it goes to Court. Get down to the Council and sort it out. If the Council are saying that they will get the tickets rescinded then physically go to them, show them the letters received and get it sorted out. Having something in writing to say that all the tickets would be rescinded would have been a good idea.

If you have already ignored the situation so long that it is going to Court then you really need to get it sorted out quickly.

Please refer to page 6 of the following caseworker guidance:
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi UKVisas,


This answer demonstrates a serious lack of effort and understanding. So much so that it is a bad advertisement for you. You haven't bothered to look into what a form TE3 is, you haven't attempted to answer questions, a, b or c and you have provided an answer that anybody could look up on google, with a decidedly shallow search.


UKVisas, I won't be accepting your answer, but will be keeping it open for immigration solicitors to answer. UKVisas, please don't answer any more of my questions.


I realise that the amount awarded for a satisfactory answer on this question is below what is expected for immigration questions, which is why I've asked to raise it. Please address questions a, b and c in your answer.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
See my reply to UKVisas
Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.

I know exactly what a TE3 form is!


Perhaps you could let me know exactly what is incorrect about the advice given? I have approaching 20 years specialist experience in immigration law - this is my only area of practice on a daily basis. There is NOT lack of understanding shown and I have represented more applications with your situation than I could possibly remember - successfully.


Your response is entirely incorrect and the advice I have given is correct. If you feel advice given is incorrect then by all means say what you feel is incorrect and why.


If you feel your questions have not been answered then ask for the specific clarifications that you require. Your questions have been answered - simply not listed in the same way as asked.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

For one thing you haven't answered A, B or C!

For another the TE3 form is issued by Northhampton court, but I don't know what this means. In your answer you state: "Failure to pay or get these rescinded could become a criminal matter if it goes to Court". This is incredibly unhelpful as you're implicitly asking me a question, "have you been to court". This is something I need to understand about TE3s and not something I'm in a position to answer.

I've also read a number of different points of view and UKBA guidance pages on PCNs indicating different potential answers to my problem, so a single link to one document hardly constitutes an answer. If I wanted to read more ambiguous documentation I would continue googling.

So basically your question doesn't answer the original question and is ambiguous. And what I need is a definitive answer to A, B and C.

Expert:  Howard replied 4 years ago.
Ok, firstly there is nothing ambiguous about the immigration rules I pointed you toward - this was done as evidence of what I was saying - that a PCN is not a criminal matter and not a reason for refusal. This is not a matter of opinion whatsoever - it is a matter of law and a matter of fact.

A TE3 is meant to be a demand for payment - an order for recovery of an unpaid PCN. TE9 is the opportunity for you to make a statement - reasons that the payments are not due and ideally with evidence of this. Suitable grounds for appeal are:

1. PCNs have been paid.
2. PCNs not received.
3. Representations made about the PCN within 28 days but no rejection notice received.
4. Appeal against rejection submitted within 28 days but no response received.

If you have ignored the problem to the stage where you do not have grounds for appeal then this is an issue.

Here is the important issue though. Whilst a PCN is NOT a criminal matter an appeal that is decided by a Court and fails IS a criminal matter and can be a problem for an ILR application.

It is also the case that guidance states that 'numerous' PCNs in the last 12 months before application should be considered, although there is no definition regarding the number that 'numerous' means. From the information provided by you it would not seem that they were in the last 12 months though so this should not be an issue.

If you have let it get to the stage where you are about to take it to Court or be taken to Court then you are in danger of removing ILR as an option and you might consider it practical to simply pay the fines and thereafter pursue the Council for the payments to be refunded on the basis that they should not have been requested in the first place.

Note that the TE3 is where the Traffic Enforcement Centre allow registration of the debt AS IF IT WERE a County Court Judgement - it is still not a Court Judgement at that stage as a Court has not made the Judgement.

Your questions were answered in my opinion but I will state the answers clearly as follow:

a. A PCN only becomes a civil judgement if it is settled in Court - until then it is NOT a criminal matter as stated.

b. All I have stated above in my posts answers this but, again, a PCN or 'numerous' PCNs outside the last 12 months should not damage your chances of approval for ILR. Letting the matter go to Court IS likely to damage your chances of approval for ILR.

c. The methods of getting them revoked are outlined above BUT the safest option for you IF getting ILR is your priority would be to simply pay them and then pursue the Council for repayment. With respect, I presume you will accept that advice relating to how PCN appeals should be pursued is not particularly a matter to request advice on from an Immigration Lawyer.

I usually try to keep advice simple for Clients and for those who ask questions here. Clearly that was not what you wanted but the above should fully answer your questions.

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