Category: Updates & Publications



Our clients, who are Ukrainian nationals, were initially refused to enter the UK. They wanted to join their refugee child who was living in the UK with her grandmother. The grandmother had been struggling to provide adequate care for the child because she also cares for her husband who suffers from complex healthcare needs. The family’s separation was because of the conflict in Crimea, where our clients continued to live during the appeal process.

Sterling Law successfully appealed the aforementioned refusal.

In accordance with AT and another v Eritrea [2016] UKUT 227 (IAC):
Decision to maintain separation of the family is a disproportionate breach of the appellants’ Article 8 rights. The importance of the best interest of the child and the clear interest in maintaining the family unit outweighs the need to maintain immigration control.

The Judge accepted the applicability of the aforementioned case, and thus, despite the fact that

  • neither of the appellants spoke English and
  • both were dependent,

the Appeal was allowed on the basis of Article 8 ECHR and our clients where granted entry clearance in the UK and reunited with their child.

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

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Leave to remain on the basis of private & family life

Leave to remain on the basis of private & family life granted to Oksana’s Demyanchuk client.

Our client, a Ukrainian national, entered the UK in 2011 with her parents and has resided in the country ever since. At the time of the application, she was under 18 years’ old and has been living in the UK for a period of 7 years continuously. Oksana Demyanchuk submitted an application on behalf of the client for leave to remain on the grounds of private and family life. (Paragraph 276 ADE(1)(iv) of the Immigration Rules).

The age of the child and the amount of time spent by the child in the UK were relevant to determining where the best interests of the child lie. The circumstances of our client were that she did not have a valid passport and was unable to obtain one.

 Oksana Demyanchuk has explained in her representations to the Home Office the particular circumstances of our client and submitted the alternative proof of ID.

Finally, the ongoing social and military crisis in Ukraine, including personal circumstances of this particular client meant that it would be unreasonable to expect the family to come back to Ukraine at this time.

 In such a manner, our client’s application was approved and she was subsequently granted leave to remain in the UK by the Home Office. There were no powerful reasons found to prevent the leave from being granted. Notably, it was approved within 3 months, which is very prompt to a case of such a complex nature.


Our client, a national of Sierra Leone, came to the UK as a visitor. Since one of his family members was involved in political activities against the government our client feared for his life on return to Sierra Leone and decided to stay in the UK.

He applied, without legal representatives, for leave to remain on the medical grounds twice. However, these applications were refused.

After several years he applied for leave to remain on the human rights grounds. Again, the Home Office refused these human rights applications although our client had integrated into UK society, having lived here for over 16 years at the time of the last refusal. Moreover, for the last four years, he has been in a relationship with a British citizen and has established a close relationship with her British child from the previous relationship. They all lived together and our client cares for the child while his mother is at work.


Sterling Law successfully appealed the last Home Office refusal. In reaching his decision the Judge stressed that:

The welfare of the minor child of this family is a primary consideration in my deliberations. The child is British, entitled to the benefits of his citizenship, which include living in Britain and having access to its education, health and social care systems. Moreover, the child enjoys regular direct contact with his biological father that would be lost if the child has to leave the UK.


It follows that it is not reasonable and to remove our client from the UK as he is one of the main carers for the qualifying child. Thus, the Judge allowed the appeal on the human right grounds.


Thanks to Sterling Law, the client finally obtained legal immigration status in the UK after over 10 years fighting for his rights with the Home Office.


Contact us should you have any immigration-related question:

+44 (0) 207 822 8535


Our client worked in the Police Force for several years. He was involved in investigating cases against a number of high profile individuals as well as arrests of police officers who had links to organised crime and the Mafia. After one of such investigations, our client had been attacked on his way home. Then, his home had been broken into. Later on, our client found out that the person in whose arrest he was involved had been released from prison without charge. After that, the police unit our client had worked in had subsequently been closed down.

As a result of these activities, our client left his country of origin, where he would likely to face arrest and ill-treatment. Obtaining a visa, he arrived in the UK and claimed asylum. After arrival to the UK, our client even received a summons notifying him of criminal proceedings against him.

However, the Home Office refused his asylum claim stating that many facts are speculative and our client:

Had failed to show a sustained or systemic failure in State protection on the part of the authorities in his country of origin if he were to be returned.


It was at this point that the client approached Sterling Law and, due to the work of Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, sufficient evidence was provided to convince the Judge that:


the State in the country of origin would not be able to provide adequate protection to the appellant.


Thus, the Judge found that our client has a well-founded fear of persecution in his country of origin and:


his removal would cause the United Kingdom to be in breach of its obligations under Qualification Rules and under the 1950 Convention.


The Appeal was allowed and our client obtained refugee status in the UK.


Contact us should you have any immigration-related question: and

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

You can also text us via facebook.


Our client, a Brazilian National, joined her EEA national spouse in the UK many years ago. Later, her 2 children came to the UK to join their mother and stepfather. They all were granted residence cards several times. However, after 10-years in a relationship, our client got divorced. She and her children applied for permanent residence on the basis of the retained right of residence. However, their applications were refused.


The Home Office stated that our clients had not provided adequate evidence to show that their EEA national sponsor exercised his Treaty rights in the UK as a worker for a continuous period of 5 years.

At this stage, the family came to Sterling Law to seek Immigration advice.

In fact, two of the clients (mother and the youngest child) acquired Permanent Residence even in 2011 (under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016). However, as the older child turned 21 years after 4,5 years of continuous residency in the UK, he needed to show dependency on the EEA sponsor or his mother for remaining half a year to qualify for permanent residence. But during this time he was employed and was earning even more than his mother. Thus, he could not show the required dependency.

At this late stage, Sterling Law lodged an Appeal. The Judge was satisfied that sufficient evidence of ex-husband employment history was provided and thus, allowed the appeal in respect of mother and the younger child.

As the older child was not able to show dependency on his mother for the required period, he did not meet the requirements to obtain permanent residence. However, he is able to obtain leave to remain and Sterling Law is now lodging the application. But would he seek immigration advice before his 21st birthday, he might already become a British citizen.


Do not postpone your application.

Contact us should you have any immigration related question:

Nollienne Alparaque


Tel. 020 7822 8535


SM v Entry Clearance Officer, UK Visa Section (C-129/18 SM 26 March 2019)


The UK Supreme Court asked the CJEU to clarify whether an Algerian child resident in Algeria but guardianship of whom had been awarded to a French couple residing in the UK under the (informal adoption) Kafala system was entitled to join the parents in the UK under the EEA family permit rules.

The CJEU confirmed that the concept of a ‘direct descendant’ of an EU citizen does not include a child who has been placed in the permanent legal guardianship of an EU citizen under the Algerian Kafala system since it does not create any parental-child relationship and the child does not automatically become the guardian’s heir.

The CJEU, however, did find that the child is an ‘other family member’ under Article 3(2)(a) Directive 2004/38. The court stressed that the existence of a family tie once established, must be enabled to develop and it is for the state to establish legal safeguards that render possible the child’s integration in his or her family. This decision limits the discretion of Member states to exclude kafala children under Article 3(2)(a) Directive 2004/38. The CJEU call on the state authorities to assess whether the family is leading a genuine family life, that the child is dependent on the guardians in the light of the duty to respect family life and to take account of the best interests of the child.

Finally, this CJEU decision warns the Member States no to seek to rely on the effectiveness of the obstacles which they themselves have created to the enjoyment of family life between parents and a Kafala child to justify finding that family life has not been sufficiently evidenced.



Our client, an EEA national, came to the UK with his family less than 5 years ago. He was diagnosed with mental health conditions, as a result of which he committed the robbery whilst his mental health was unstable. Our client spent some time in custody which was a difficult experience for him. When he was released, he engaged well with the Probation service and drug agency (since he also had a history of substance abuse). Moreover, he took support from his Church and family to improve and stabilize his mental health.

However, the Home Office decided to deport our client relying on the public policy grounds (Regulation 23 (6) and 27 (5) 2016 regulations).


The public policy and public security requirements of the United Kingdom include restricting rights otherwise conferred by these Regulations in order to protect the fundamental interests of society, and where a relevant decision is taken on grounds of public policy or public security it must also be taken in accordance with the following principles—

(a) the decision must comply with the principle of proportionality;

(b) the decision must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the person concerned;

(c) the personal conduct of the person must represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society, taking into account past conduct of the person and that the threat does not need to be imminent;

(d) matters isolated from the particulars of the case or which relate to considerations of general prevention do not justify the decision;

(e) a person’s previous criminal convictions do not in themselves justify the decision;

(f) the decision may be taken on preventative grounds, even in the absence of a previous criminal conviction, provided the grounds are specific to the person.


Sterling Law successfully represented interests of the client in the Appeal. Notwithstanding the facts of poor representation of our client by his previous lawyer and numerous detentions since November 2018, Sterling Law managed to achieve a positive result in this case.

The Judge allowed the appeal noting that

  • removal of our client would be disproportionate and would cause potential for relapse;
  • there is a low risk of re-offending;
  • our client does NOT represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society.


If you or your family member has been detained or is facing deportation, contact us for professional legal advice:

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

Successful ILR application as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur), accelerated route

Fantastic news for Sterling Law as an application for indefinite leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant (accelerated route) was successful.

Our client, who entered the UK as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant, had established a successful business in the UK which, as a result of his services, saw a net increase in gross income from business activity of at least £5 million during a 3-year continuous period. As a result, our client was eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain after 3 years of leave to remain as a Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) Migrant.

Applications of this type can be very complex and great attention to details is required, especially considering the large amount of documents submitted in support of the application and the complexity of the Immigration Rules. However, due to the meticulous work by Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, our client faced no such problem and his application was approved by the Home Office without any issue.

Interested? Book your consultation now!


Oksana Demyanchuk


Tel. 020 7822 8535


Michael Carter


Tel. 020 7822 8535


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

Crypto assets challenges: are tokens a security or utility?

Cryptoassets have attracted significant and growing attention from consumers, markets, governments, and regulators globally. Tokens, although not ‘rocket science’, is a quite complicated area even for businesses and individuals dealing with it.

In accordance with FCA Guidance currently there are three types of tokens:

  1. Exchange tokens(not issued or backed by any central authority and used as a means of exchange, usually outside the FCA regulation perimeter).
  2. Securitytokens(tokens with specific characteristics; classify as a Specified Investment like a share or a debt instrument; within the FCA regulation perimeter.
  3. Utility tokens: (support capital raising and/or the creation of decentralised networks; can be used or traded on the secondary market; usually outside the FCA regulation, although might meet the definition of e-money in certain circumstances, in which case – within the FCA regulation perimeter)

However, firms should note that 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive will be implemented into UK law by the end of 2019 and will extend the FCA regulation, as a result, all crypto exchange platforms will fall within an FCA Regulation.

Regardless of technology – if regulated crypto asset activities(e.g. Managing or advising on investments, including security tokens, dealing with warranties, etc.) are undertaken,  an appropriate FCA authorisation is required unless you are exempted. You will also need to ensure you have appropriate authorisation if your tokens constitute e-money.


E-money is electronically stored monetary value which is:

  • issued on receipt of funds for the purpose of making payment transactions;
  • accepted by a person other than the electronic money issuer ;
  • not excluded by regulation 3 of the Electronic Money Regulations 2011.

Exchange tokens like Bitcoin, Ether, and other equivalents are unlikely to represent e-money because, amongst other things, they are not usually centrally issued on the receipt of funds, nor do they represent a claim against an issuer.

Voting rights and security tokens

Tokens would classify as security tokens if they represent ownership or control (e.g. via voting rights), provide access to a dividend of company profits or the distribution of capital upon liquidation. However, this is not always the case as some tokens give voting rights on the direction without it being considered as control. For example, a token that provides the token holder with the right to vote on future ICOs the firm will invest in and no other rights would likely not be considered a share as the voting rights don’t confer control-like decisions on the future of the firm. It must be noted that whether a token that provide voting rightsrepresents a share in the capital of a body corporate or similar entity incorporated outside the UK will depend on the operation of the company and corporate law. In addition, negotiability on the capital markets can be an indicator of the transferable security nature of a token.

Decentralisationis also an important factor in determining whether a token is a security or utility. Decentralisation allows for trade directly with another party, using a blockchain to finalise the operation. The FCA approach is, the greater the degree of decentralisation the less likely it is that a token will confer enforceable rights and be a security.

Despite the fact that issuers of tokens don’t need to be authorised to issue their own securities, in the course of promoting their issuance, they may be advising on investments or undertaking other activities that may require FCA permission.

Sterling Law can provide tailored advice on the nature of your tokens and other crypto asset related matters. Our team can also obtain FCA Crypto team confirmation on the issue of whether specific tokens are security or not.