Family reunited after initial allegation of breaching immigration rules

The Appellant came to the UK over 17 years ago together with her husband. Both are Armenian nationals. They both applied to remain in the UK. Two years later, the Home Office removed the Appellant from the UK and forcibly separated her from her husband. Her husband was afterwards granted settlement in the UK under the Legacy policy and soon became a British citizen.

The Legacy policy was implemented to deal with the massive and unmanageable backlog of asylum/human rights cases which the Home Office had failed to resolve. The Appellant’s husband was one of many people who were granted settlement under this scheme. The Home Office had failed to deal with his outstanding case over the course of many years. During this time he became integrated into UK society and became an active member of the community.

Having been forcibly separated from her husband by the Home Office, the Appellant resorted to desperate measures to return to the UK. As a result, she accrued a very poor immigration record. This included using deception, submitting false documents and overstaying. After entering the UK lawfully as a visitor over 10 years ago, she joined her husband. She then also became an active and productive member of the community. However, several attempts to remain in the UK were unsuccessful. 

After a last unsuccessful attempt to lawfully remain with her husband, the Appellant came to Sterling Law. Josephine Smith, Immigration Lawyer at Sterling Law dealt with this case. Josephine advised the client to voluntarily leave the UK in order to apply for a spouse visa from Armenia.

Grounds for Refusal:

Unfortunately, her spouse visa application was unsuccessful due to her poor immigration history. The Home Office refused her application on the discretionary ground of paragraph 320(11) of the immigration rules:

320 – (11) where the applicant has previously contrived in a significant way to frustrate the intentions of the Rules by:

(i) overstaying; or

(ii) breaching a condition attached to his leave; or

(iii) being an illegal entrant; or

(iv) using deception in an application for entry clearance, leave to enter or remain or in order to obtain documents from the Secretary of State or a third party required in support of the application (whether successful or not);

and there are other aggravating circumstances, such as absconding, not meeting temporary admission/reporting restrictions or bail conditions, using an assumed identity or multiple identities, switching nationality, making frivolous applications or not complying with the re-documentation process.

Sterling Law appealed the decision on her behalf and obtained a successful result.

The appeal was argued on the basis of the precedent PS (paragraph 320(11) discretion: care needed) India [2010] UKUT 440 (IAC), that the decision to refuse was a disproportionate breach of the Appellant’s family and private life.

However, the Home Office argued that the Appellant’s immigration history was very bad and her husband must have been aware of the nature of the Appellant’s previous applications.

The judge found that the Appellant’s poor immigration history was due to her desperation to be reunited with her husband. He agreed that discretion should be exercised in her favour.

The appeal was successful, and our client can now remain in the UK.

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