What is SAR (Subject access request)
SAR (Subject access request) is a procedure in which a person can submit a request to a body or organization for information held by that body about him. Home Office is one of the organizations obliged by law to provide such information. All you need to do is ask the Home Office and wait until it is provided to you, which normally takes about 40 days although it may take longer than that.
Why do i need a Subject Access Request
Many types of visas in the UK or changes in immigration status applications require applicants to provide Home Office with detailed history of their foreign trips to assess whether they do not exceed the maximum absences permitted for their visa type. It is possible to collect that information yourself by searching your flight records, emails, bank statements, and any other relevant documents that you have in your possession. The more practical and frequently more certain way would be to request this information from the Home Office records.
There are other advantages to obtaining SAR as well. SAR is a valuable resource for information needed in your ILR or naturalisation application. It is of particular value to those who apply for a long residence ILR. ILR and naturalisation applications of all types require applicant to provide details of absences for the relevant periods relied on. SAR will also provide you with details of the dates of your previous visa applications, validity of your immigration permits issued by the Home Office and any relevant Home Office reference numbers.
SAR is certainly a useful tool for those who wish to apply for Skilled Worker ILR or British naturalisation application.
What information can SAR give
All SAR requests result in similar type of information being released. This is called a basic information.
- an electronic summary of your immigration history
- landing cards Home Office holds electronically
- visa applications you submitted from outside of the UK (as part of entry clearance)
- Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) information if you are a national of Czechia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia
- Entry and exit into and out of the UK. Your travel history can be provided for the past 5 years if a passport or travel document is submitted for this period
Specific questions on SAR
Besides the above mentioned informations we can ask for more detailed, specific information. The documents (up to five) that can be requested include:
- a list of your applications
- a particular decision letter
- the outcome of an appeal (appeal determination)
- a particular detention progress report
- a deportation order
- a particular interview record
This type of SAR request allows to ask for a copy of your Home Office paper file. The normal information held by the Home Office will be send to you. But after that you are entitled to ask for a specific document or information held by the Home Office.
How to make a Subject access request
You can make SAR request online, by going to the following website. You will need to complete a short application form mainly focused on your identity documents and previous immigration applications.
What do you need for SAR request.
You need to confirm what type of information you require and provide personal details so Home Office can locate your records on their systems.
Furthermore, before you start your application, you will need:
- a copy of your photo identification, such as a passport
- a letter to give permission for your records to be sent to you, or your representative
- proof of your relationship, if you are applying for a child under 12
More information about the process is available here. Processing time for SAR, according to Home Office is one month. On occasions, however, it can take significantly longer to receive information.