Category: Successful Cases


Excellent news! The appeal regarding removal directions for our client was allowed!

Our client, a national of Pakistan, married an EU national who is exercising treaty rights in the UK and has a permanent residence here. After entering the UK with an EEA family permit our client successfully obtained an EEA residence card. A year into the marriage, the wife’s sister tragically passed away in Brazil leaving behind four minor children. Deeply affected by this loss, our client and his spouse decided to adopt these children. So our client’s wife went to Brazil for around 6 months to resolve various matters regarding the adoption.

At the date his wife was returning to the UK Immigration Officers came to our client’s home and interviewed him.

  • His request to postpone the interview (he was not feeling well) was ignored.
  • The immigration Officers did not make any notes regarding this request.
  • They did not pay attention to the fact that our client’s wife returned to the UK on the interview date and it would be useful to interview her as well before making any immigration decision.
  • Moreover, Immigration Officers even made several offensive Islamophobic remarks regarding our client’s appearance.

Relying on the interview records the Home Office made removal directions for our client on the grounds that

he misused the right to reside in the UK since his EEA sponsor left the UK just one month after his arrival in the UK and has not returned since (that was wrong).


Sterling Law successfully appealed this decision pointing out that there was a specific reason for the wife’s absence (adoption). The judge allowed the appeal and found that the Home Office decision was disproportionate.

Thanks to our lawyers Jekaterina Trubina and Shakir Hussain our clients are able to continue their family life in the UK and care for the wife’s sister children after adoption.


Similar immigration problem? Do you believe the Home Office made a wrong decision? Contact our experienced lawyers for professional advice.

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A wife, who’s British husband suffers from cancer allowed to stay in the UK

Our client, a Brazilian national, came to the UK on a student visa. Although her applications for leave to remain were unsuccessful, she remained in the UK. She met her British husband several years later and after he was diagnosed with Lung Cancer. After that our client started to provide him with required daily care. Our client applied for leave to remain under the 10-year partner route. However, her application was refused on the basis that the ‘insurmountable obstacles’ requirement was not met.

What is ‘insurmountable obstacles’?

In accordance with para EX.2. Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, insurmountable obstacles are defined as ‘the very significant difficulties which would be faced by the applicant or their partner in continuing their family life together outside the UK and which could not be overcome or would entail very serious hardship for the applicant or their partner’.

Sterling Law successfully appealed the Home Office refusal. The Judge considered all the evidence that Sterling Law put forward. As a result, the court decision favoured our client.


There are genuine insurmountable obstacles in this appeal:

 The Sponsor has lung cancer

 He is still unwell since his operation and chemotherapy,

He needs very regular checks and follow-up appointments which could not take place in Brazil.

Neither the spouse nor the appellant has connections in Brazil AND  

…they have no means of making an income

BECAUSE the appellant has been living in the UK for around 17 years.


It would be not fair to remove our client from the UK. The harm to her private life would not be proportional.

Although our client overstayed her last granted leave for several years, she:

has no criminal convictions,

speaks very good English,

has integrated into life in the UK

is not dependent on the public purse.


Bearing in mind these facts and the amount of care our client provides to her British husband, the Judge found that

there is more than mere hardship in this appeal’,

and then went on to conclude that ‘I do not find it reasonable to expect the appellant to be removed from the UK’.

Thus, the appeal was allowed and our client was subsequently granted leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office.

Similar immigration problem? Do you believe the Home Office made a wrong decision? Contact our experienced lawyers for professional advice.

Book consultation here:

Or book a free 15 min phone call with us!

Or just email us:

UK Visitor visa under 3 working days

Famous celebrity/ songwriter got her visitor visa to the UK just under 3 working days! Very rare type of application under the Visitor Visa Permitted Paid Engagement route was handled by our immigration lawyer Nollienne Alparaque! This type of visitor visa allows professional artists, entertainers, musicians or sportspersons to carry out an activity directly connected to their profession! If you are interested in obtaining a visitor visa to the UK, please do not hesitate to contact Sterling & Law.

You can schedule an appointment with Nollienne through this link. Alternatively, you can always contact her on or 020 7822 8535

Is birth certificate enough for the Home Office to prove your parenthood?

Our clients, who are nationals of Albania, have an adult daughter living in the UK with her EEA national husband. Two years after their daughter had successfully obtained a Residence Card (in accordance with Regulation 18 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016), they applied for an EEA family permit to enter the UK and join their adult daughter. However, their applications were refused on the grounds that the Birth Certificate(provided as evidence of parental relationship) was not considered as adequate since it was issued less than 1 year ago.

In the Home Office’s refusal letters it was stated that THIS birth certificate is required support by either historical document regarding the parentage or even DNA test results.

The Sterling Law team successfully represented these clients in this out of country Appeal. After considering the Albanian procedure on issuing birth certificates and our client’s daughter statement explaining why they could not locate the original birth certificate, the Judge allowed the appeal, noting that:

The Entry Clearance Office ‘has shown a lack of knowledge about how this evidence is produced in either country, Albania or the UK’, and ‘failed either to carry out checks in Albania or to supply a document verification report, in order to question the reliability of’Albanian documents proving the parental relationship.

Furthermore, the Judge stressed that:

The burden of proof falls on the doubter. It is a burden that has clearly never been discharged by the respondent HO. On the contrary, the respondent decision maker has given no sign of abandoning an unreal view of how these matters are done’.

Thus, Sterling Law will now be applying for costs for the clients.

Please note, in accordance with Albanian law ‘when a person applies for a birth certificate, he or she is issued with a new one instead of a copy of the first birth certificate issued’. Thus, in theory, an Albanian can hold 10 such certificates (with identical information) if he or she has applied 10 times.

         Do you have a similar immigration-related problem? Do you believe the Home Office made a wrong decision? Contact our experienced lawyers for professional advice.



Permanent residence – out of time appeal

Our client approached Sterling Law after her application for permanent residence as a family member of an EEA national who had retained the right of residence following the end of her marriage had been refused by the Home Office.

After the breakdown of her marriage, our client applied for permanent residence on the basis that she had retained the right of residence following the divorce. However, the client was unable to obtain documents from her ex-husband, most notably she was unable to obtain his passport or national identity card and she had insufficient evidence that he was exercising Treaty rights at the time divorce proceedings began. The Home Office took objection to this and therefore the application was refused.

The client’s legal representatives at the time advised that there were no merits to an appeal and so the client did not lodge an appeal within the prescribed 14 days from the date of refusal. However, after approaching Sterling Law and Oksana Demyanchuk, it was advised that an appeal did have merit. Accordingly, an out-of-time appeal was lodged by Oksana Demaynchuk and the Tribunal accepted the reasons put forward as to why the appeal was lodged out-of-time and concluded that, in the interest of justice, the appeal should be allowed to continue.

At the appeal hearing, it was submitted that the reasons for refusing the application were unlawful. It was submitted that the EEA Regulations cannot service to impose additional requirements to the Citizens Directive (Directive 2004/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council), and therefore, the Tribunal was invited to revert to the Directive in considering whether or not the client meets the requirements for a grant of for permanent residence as a family member of an EEA national who had retained the right of residence.

After considering the bundle of documents submitted by Sterling Law as evidence that the client does, in fact, meet the requirements, and the arguments put forward at the hearing, the Judge allowed the appeal.


Oksana Demyanchuk


Tel. 020 7822 8535


Michael Carter


Tel. 020 7822 8535



Successful human rights application


Oksana Demyanchuk and her team conducted yet another successful asylum claim before the First-tier Tribunal. Our client, a Ukrainian entrepreneur, despite receiving military call-up notes requiring him to serve in the military, had evaded the draft as a conscientious objector.

Fearing that he would be sent to the frontline to serve or imprisoned for draft evasion, our client left Ukraine for the UK to claim asylum.

A conscientious objection may give rise to an asylum claim under the principle of imputed political opinion, political opinion being one of five categories that may be used to claim refugee status, the other four being race, religion, nationality, and member of a particular social group.

Initially, the Home Office refused our client’s claim for asylum and an appeal was lodged to the First-tier Tribunal. While awaiting the hearing date, our client received a court decision sentencing him to imprisonment for draft evasion. Due to the conditions of detention and imprisonment in Ukraine, which fall below the International Standards, our client further feared for his life if he was returned to Ukraine.

Due to the thorough and robust preparation and persuasive representations and bundles submitted in support of the appeal by Oksana Demyanchuk, as well as the introduction of expert evidence, it was accepted by the Immigration Judge that all of the evidence demonstrated that our client had been tried in absentia and sentenced to imprisonment. Accordingly, relying on VB and Another (draft evaders and prison conditions) Ukraine CG [2017] UKUT 00079 (IAC), the Judge went on to find:

         ‘…if a draft-evader did face prosecution proceedings (…) it would be a matter for any Tribunal to consider, in the light of developing evidence, whether there were aggravating matters which might lead to imposition of an immediate custodial sentence…’

         ‘There is a real risk that the conditions of detention and imprisonment in Ukraine would subject a person returned to be detained or imprisoned to a breach of Article 3 of the ECHR’,

Accordingly, the Judge found that our client faces a real risk of treatment in breach of the Article 3 ECHR right(Anti-torture and inhumane treatment). Thus, the Appeal was allowed.

Asylum appeals of this nature can be very complex and the success of such and appeal can depend on the quality of representations. Therefore, we would strongly advise that any asylum seekers in the UK seek professional legal advice.


Oksana Demyanchuk


Tel. 020 7822 8535


Michael Carter


Tel. 020 7822 8535

“The law extends but does not limit freedom.” Sterling Law wins the lawsuit against the UK Home Office

Prior to being disappointed because of having lost the case, we would advise to attentively check the grounds which the Home Office based its decision on.

The situation that will be presented below shows that even the Home Office can show low consideration of the specific case. An individual has referred to Sterling Law to provide legal representation in the case due to the refusal of her application for an EEA Residence Card as confirmation of her right to reside in the UK with her husband of British citizenship.

Our Client is a woman (further Appellant) who got married to a British citizen in 2013 in Afghanistan. By the date of the hearing, they were expecting the birth of their first child. In 2016 her husband was offered a good job in the Netherlands, so the family decided to relocate there permanently. He was the first who moved to start his new job and a few months later, the Appellant joined him. She applied for EEA Residence Card in the Netherlands as a confirmation of her right to stay with her husband as a family member. She has issued a Residence Card in the Netherlands. Everything seemed to be in order: well-paid job, new rental apartment, studying a new language, life was filled with new colors. The family could see a lot of bright prospects for their future in the new country. They did not have intentions to leave the  Netherlands. However, life often has its own plans. Sometime later, they got news that the Applicant’s husband’s mother has seriously got sick in the UK. Taking into account the cultural specifics of the Appellant’s husband’s nationality (he was Afghan), the son was obligated to take care of his senior parents, especially if they were unwell. The family had no other choice but to go back to the UK to take care of the husband’s mother. She had limited capability of moving around the house and was suffering from instant pain in her joints. The Appellant provided significant help to her husband’s mother, such as feeding, cooking, helping to go to bed, etc. Upon arrival to the UK, the Applicant applied for a UK Residence Card as a confirmation of a right to reside in the UK with her British husband. However, the Home Office refused in issuing the Residence Card based on her situation assessment, saying that the Appellant could not meet the requirements of British immigration law.

We would like to provide the grounds of the Home Office refusal:

The Home Office concluded that the Applicant’s relocation to the Netherlands was not genuine, and was done in order to “circumvent domestic immigration laws”. In other words, the Home Office claimed that the Appellant decision to move to the Netherlands was something like a staging show with the only aim – to circumvent British law and to eventually receive UK Residence card. Secondly, the Home Office claimed that it was solely the Applicant’s initiative to come back to the UK, not her husband’s intention.

Moreover, it was concluded that the Applicant did not show that the center of her and her husband’s life was transferred to the Netherlands, practically no integration into new society has been conducted. And the accommodation they rented was just on a temporary base.

Sterling Law was appointed to represent the Appellant in this case, where we initially pointed out on the Home Office low consideration of the case and the numerous obvious evidence provided by the Applicant.

The first and furthermost fact is that throughout the entire Decision Letter the Home Office repeatedly referred to the Applicant has lived in “Ireland” instead of the Netherlands. This could not be considered just a minor error, but an example of how poorly the application was considered by the Home Office.

Based on the provided tenancy agreement, it was clearly seen that the Appellant’s family were planning to stay in the Netherlands not temporarily, but for a long period of time, if not permanently.

Numerous medical check-ups of the Appellant’s mother-in-law showed that she was indeed unwell and needed constant everyday care. Thus, the initiative of their relocation back to the UK was fully belonged to the Appellant’s husband, as it was his mother who needed help and physical support.

Later, the court concluded that relocation to another country could not be just a staging show, as it has been done so much by the family to move the center of their life to the Netherlands: find a new job, rent an apartment, study a new language, integrate into society. No doubts, the appeal was allowed by the Court. The Applicant was granted the UK Residence card.

Sterling Law was more than satisfied that the justice was served. We highly recommend to read through the Home Office decisions attentively, there can be some minor errors which do not influence the actual decision, but at the same there can be mistakes that completely change the outcome of the case, and even worse if this outcome is refusal or rejection of your application, like in the case described above.

This case reaffirms the statement of the prominent English philosopher John Locke, who said that “the end of law is not to abolish or restrain, but to preserve and enlarge freedom.”


Appeal allowed for a further leave to remain based on private life in the UK and financially dependent child

Nollienne Alparaque and the team were recently successful in an appeal case in the First-tier Tribunal.

In this case, the client has appealed against the refusal for a further leave to remain in the UK, in which they heavily relied on their private life in the UK and their financially dependent child of 20 years of age. The applicant is financially self-sufficient and has owned her business for over ten years. The client’s son is a University student, who failed to obtain a student loan to pay his university fees, as he did not have a three year visa. Due to not being able to finance his own education, as he has no savings and assets, the client’s son seeks full financial support from his mother during his university years.

The judge has considered the fact that the applicant’s son has been living with his mother before going to university, and continues to do so throughout his university years, as he is wholly reliant on his mother and does not lead an independent life. Furthermore, it was found that there is a clear financial and emotional dependency enabling the applicant’s son to complete his education without the applicant’s support. The judge noted that if the client had to leave the UK, she would not be able to run her business, which would make it no longer possible to generate the income required to support and pay for her son’s university education.

The outcome of this appeal was successful, as the judge ruled that under those circumstances it would be a breach of the right to a family life and the client’s son would be deprived in the event of his mother’s removal from the UK to pursue his education and career.

Domestic violence – Indefinite Leave to Remain


Our lawyers won the appeal regarding indefinite leave to remain in the UK on the human right grounds.
Our client, a national of the Russian Federation, has lived and worked in the UK as a consultant for more than 3 years. Throughout her leave she held a spouse visa under the Immigration Rules (part 8, Appendix FM) as she was married to a British Citizen who is settled and present in the UK. The client had a complicated relationship with her British spouse (former), she was persuaded by former husband to apply for the spouse visa rather than a working visa that was also an option at that time. Our client’s spouse had regular mood swings, behaved with the client aggressively from time to time, forced her to leave the matrimonial house against her will and even forced her to make an act that was against her religion. Also, the client’s husband threatened to inform the Home Office that their marriage is over if she did not follow his instructions. After these events, our client had mental problems, was in continuous grief, sadness, stress, and regret; could not work properly. In addition, she suffered financial abuse since she was forced to transfer money into the spouse’s account, most notoriously, former husband did not give access to that funds.
Our client made an application for indefinite leave to remain in the UK as a victim of domestic violence that was initially refused by the Home Office, and she had been divorced 5 months before the final hearing.
In the Appeal case, our team provided the successful representation of domestic violence. The appeal was allowed and the right for indefinite leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence was granted.

One year without a parent. How immigration policy destroys a child’s childhood

A controversial and interesting case has been recently represented by Sterling Law.
Apparently, according to the Home Office, the evidence of having a child is not strong enough to recognize marriage as genuine and issue a Residence Card for the applicant.

Sterling Law presented the rights of the Appellant, who is a Ukrainian citizen. The Appellant applied for a Residence Card the grounds of being a spouse of EEA national, exercising treaty rights. However, the application was refused based on the results of the marriage interview. The Appellant and her spouse of Lithuanian nationality were interviewed separately. After the interview, a few discrepancies were detected, namely:

1) The Appellant stated that her future husband proposed to her in summer 2014, when her husband mentioned the date of September 2015.
(How is it possible not to remember when you were proposed?)
2) Also, discrepancies were found in Appellant’s sister’s name.
(Is it possible to forget your wife’s sister’s name because you are nervous at the interview?)
3) The appellant was not able to name the amount of mortgage, that her husband took. (Seems like there is not much trust in this couple, right?)
4) And finally, the couple did not purchase the engagement ring and did not celebrate the wedding.
(Obviously, they did not need it as it looks like a marriage of convenience, doesn’t it?)

Having such discrepancies at the marriage interview, made the HO assume this couple is not in a genuine relationship.

The couple, however, has a common child, as well as numerous photographs, where all the family members (including relatives) were together. Both parents can be seen on the photos of different baby’s age and have undoubted evidence of cohabitation.

Is the fact of having a common child not strong enough to consider that the marriage is genuine? – this is the main issue that was raised in this case.

The fact, that the appellant and her EEA national husband have a child did not influence the Home Office decision. Based on the above-mentioned discrepancies, the Appellant of Ukrainian citizenship was refused in issuing a Residence Card. The marriage was deemed as the one for obtaining citizenship rights. Moreover, the burden of proof was put on the Appellant, which contradicted the case law.

The Appellant had to wait over a year for another hearing to present more evidence and proof of cohabitation.