Hello my name is Alex and I will help you with this. Please note that I am a working Solicitor and may be on and offline as I have to attend Court and meet with clients, even at weekends. As such you may not get an instant response when you reply, but rest assured I will be giving your question my immediate attention upon return You do not need to wait here as you will get an email when I reply.
What convictions do you have and from when? Why did you not declare them please?
Your friends have cost you bad I am sorry to say. Even if you get a speeding fixed penalty and it does not go to Court you MUST still declare it.
The UKBA application notes are very clear:
"You must give details of all criminal convictions both within and outside the United Kingdom. This includes road traffic offences. Fixed penalty notices will not normally be taken in to account unless you have received several fixed penalty notices which would suggest a pattern of behaviour that calls into question your character. Drink driving offences must be declared. If you have any endorsements on your driving licence, you must provide the paper counterpart."
You will see it says details of ALL convictions not just some
If you had a non custodial sentence then the UKBA say "Applications will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 3 years."
Therefore in any event you would have been refused up to January 2015.
But based on the fact you failed to disclose this information and what your friends said was very wrong indeed the UKBA are following the correct procedure to ban you for applying for 10 years.
The difficulties you face are:
1) The conviction was in January 2012 and you could not have applied until January 2015 in any event
2) You now face a 10 year ban
This is the guidance issued by the UKBA http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/britishcitizenship/eligibility/goodcharacter/
You can appeal but the appeal Judge will look at the decision made on the date of your application.
Given you accept you had been convicted in January 2012 you would have been refused in any event.
I am sorry if this is not the answer you want and it is certainly not the one I want to give you but I have a duty to be honest.
Your friends have really dropped you in in
Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?
I understand that you are depressed. The UKBA can not reconsider this because even if you had declared the convictions you would not have been able to apply until January 2015.
You can ask the UKBA to reconsider the ban but sadly there is nothing in law that says they have to reduce it.
You could consider a Judicial Review of the ban which is where a Court reviews the decision to ban and sees if it is reasonable.
A Judge can agree it is correct or ask the UKBA to look at it again.
But for that you would need a Solicitor to consider drafting Judicial Review proceedings on your behalf.
It is unlikely you would get legal aid due to the changes in the rules so may have to pay for advice, but if you win you could get your costs back.
Does this help?
I can not be instructed as this is against site rules, but for a Judicial Review you are looking at least £5000 - £10,000 if contested.
Does this answer the question for you?
Can I help with anything else?