Odelola v Secretary of State for the Home Department: CA 10 Apr 2008

The claimant applied for leave to remain in the United Kingdom as a postgraduate doctor. The immigration rules which had been laid before Parliament in accordance with section 3(2) of the 1971 Act and which were current at the time of her application stated that a person who had only an overseas medical degree was (subject to other requirements) eligible to apply for an extension of leave as a postgraduate doctor. After the date of her application, the relevant rule was replaced by a rule which required an applicant to have completed a recognised United Kingdom degree. The issue was whether the Secretary of State was entitled to determine the application by reference to the new rule.
Held: Buxton LJ considered the rules setting the requirements for a course of education to qualify it for the admission of foreign nationals as students: ‘These rules are not to be construed with all the strictness applicable to the construction of a statute or a statutory instrument. They must be construed sensibly according to the natural meaning of the language that is employed. The rules give guidance to the various officers concerned and contain statements of general policy regarding the operation of the relevant immigration legislation.’


Buxton LJ


[2008] EWCA Civ 308, [2008] Imm AR 632, [2009] 1 WLR 126




England and Wales

Cited by:

AdoptedAM (Ethiopia) and others v Entry Clearance Officer CA 16-Oct-2008
When applying for entry under a sponsorship arrangement, the three applicable rules disallowed third party support.
Laws LJ said: ‘The immigrant’s article 8 rights will (must be) protected by the Secretary of State and the court whether or not . .
AppliedDe Oliveira, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department Admn 9-Mar-2009
The claimant wished to be allowed to stay in the UK to complete her studies. The respondent said that her course did not meet the criteria, being for professional membership of the British Computer Society, and not at a formal degree level . .
Appeal fromOdelola v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 20-May-2009
The appellant had applied for leave to remain as a postgraduate doctor. Before her application was determined, the rules changed. She said that her application should have been dealt with under the rules applicable at the time of her application. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Immigration, Education

Updated: 14 July 2022; Ref: scu.266557