Tag: UK Immigration

FAMILY REUNION IN THE UK

PARENTS ARE ABLE TO JOIN THEIR CHILD WITH A REFUGEE STATUS IN THE UK

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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WHEN THE HOME OFFICE SHOULD EXERCISE DISCRETION

Applicants under the Points-based system

  • Tier 4 students,
  • Tier 2 and Tier 5 workers,
  • Tier 1 visa holders,

must strictly comply with all visa requirements and supply certain specified documents in support of their applications. It is clear in “stark terms” under paragraph 39B of the Immigration Rules that ‘if the necessary documents are not provided, an applicant will not meet the requirement for which those documents are required as evidence.’ As a result, an application will not be successful.

 

However, in case of exceptional circumstances the Home Office should exercise discretion. Moreover, since R (Behary & Ullah) v SSHD [2016] EWCA Civ 702, it has been good law that the Home Office is obliged to consider discretional grant [outside of the Rules] ‘when expressly asked to do so’. The categories of exceptional circumstances are not closed. In the guidance, examples are given of what could constitute such circumstances, but each case depends on its facts.

 

For example, discretional leave can be granted if educational provider has its licence withdrawn or revoked during the period between an application for extension of leave as a Tier 4 (General) Student and the Secretary of State’s decision on the application (see Patel (revocation of sponsor licence – fairness) India [2011] UKUT 00211 (IAC)).

 

However, the Home Office is quite strict in exercising discretion, especially, in case of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extensions. Recent cases of:

  • R (Prathipati) v SSHD (Discretion – Exceptional Circumstances) [2018] UKUT 427 (IAC);
  • R (Sajjad) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 720;
  • Khajuria, R (on the application of) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWHC 1226 (Admin)
  • Asiweh v The Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 13

are good examples.

 

Thus, it is crucial to seek an immigration advice if not before submitting an application straight after receiving refusal. Our experienced Lawyers can assess the merits of bringing a judicial review claim and provide the best Immigration solution in case a judicial review would be waste of your time and financial resources.

 

I cannot provide all the documents to support my visa application, what do I do?

 

Are you currently on student, work, entrepreneur or any other point-based system visa and looking to extend it?

Or are you looking to apply for the first time?

You must strictly comply with the document list to support your application. Usually, the Home Office is very strict on this while they are evaluating your case, and if you do not provide a required document, your application may be refused.

However, sometimes, in case of exceptional circumstances, the Home Office may exercise discretion, and consider a grant.

There are several categories described in the guidance of such exceptional circumstances. However, each case should be evaluated on an individual basis.

Moreover, the Home Office is quite strict in exercising discretion, especially in case of Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) extensions.

We strongly suggest to seek legal advice before submitting such an application.

We can assess your case and evaluate your chances of getting visa.

However, if you already received a refusal, we still can help. Our lawyers will assess the merits of taking your case to the judicial review claim stage. If we think judicial review will not be successful, we’ll provide you other immigration solution.

The case was successful due to efforts of our Immigration Lawyer Oksana Demyanchuk and her team.

oksana@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 020 7822 8535

+44 7 305 966 531

 

 

ARTICLE 8 APPEAL OUTSIDE THE IMMIGRATION RULES ALLOWED ON THE SPOT!

Our client, a citizen of the Russian Federation, came to the UK at the age of 12 to study. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from a UK university, our client applied for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK under the ten-year continuous long Residency Rules.

The Home Office refused the application with no right of in-country appeal. The client’s previous legal representatives did not challenge this decision, at which point our client became an over-stayer as his continuous leave was broken. Instead, our client then applied for leave to remain based upon his private life. This application was refused on the grounds that our client did not satisfy requirements 276ADE of the Immigration Rules.

Immigration Rules 276ADE (1)

The requirements to be met by an applicant for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK are that at the date of application, the applicant:

(i) does not fall for refusal under any of the grounds in Section S-LTR 1.1 to S-LTR 2.2. and S-LTR.3.1. to S-LTR.4.5. in Appendix FM; and

(ii) has made a valid application for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK; and

(iii) has lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment); or

(v) is aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of his life living continuously in the UK (discounting any period of imprisonment); or

(vi) subject to sub-paragraph (2), is aged 18 years or above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) but there would be very significant obstacles to the applicant’s integration into the country to which he would have to go if required to leave the UK.

 

After approaching numerous other lawyers, the client approached Sterling Law. Our lawyer, Oksana Demyanchuk and her team lodged an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal on the grounds that the decision was a breach of our client’s Article 8 ECHR human rights. In particular, the emphasis was placed on the fact that our client had established an extensive private life in the UK since his entry. After considering the grounds put forward and the bundle of documents provided in support of the appeal, the Judge allowed the appeal on a spot despite our client not meeting any of the Immigration Rules! In doing so, the Judge found that

the Home Office timing resulted in unfairness because it effectively prevented the appellant from benefiting from paragraph 276 ADE of the Immigration Rules when he had qualified for indefinite leave to remain.

 

Moreover, the Judge found that our client

  • has built up a significant private life in the United Kingdom;
  • has the English language skills of a native speaker;
  • is financially independent; and
  • It would be in public interest to retain him in the country.

Bearing the above in mind, it was held that any interference in the Appellant’s private life will result in unjustifiably harsh consequences.

 

Thanks to Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, our client can remain in the UK which already become a home for him.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration-related question:

oksana@sterling-law.co.uk and michael@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 (0) 207 822 8535

You can also text us via facebook.

EEA IMMIGRATION RULES: THE IMPORTANCE OF TIMELY IMMIGRATION ADVICE

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

Email: Nollienne@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

RETAINED RIGHT OF RESIDENCE

UNABLE TO OBTAIN ID FROM YOUR EX-SPOUSE? ALTERNATIVE EVIDENCE CAN BE ACCEPTED

Our client, a national of Turkmenistan, applied for a residence card as someone who had retained the right to reside in the UK. She was married to an EEA national but their marriage has now ended. Her ex-husband set up his own business when they married and was doing that when they divorced. Thus, our client satisfied one of the main requirements of Regulation 10 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. Necessary documents proving ex-husband’s employment (e.g. tax returns) were submitted with the application.

However, the Home Office refused our client’s application noting that “she had not provided evidence that her ex-husband had been working at the date of divorce”. In addition, our client was unable to provide a copy of an identity document for her ex-husband since he has been completely uncontactable. She has tried to call and speak with her ex-husband on a number of occasions, contacted him via emails and whatsapp. However, he either did not respond or clearly showed an unwillingness to assist her. Thus, it was beyond our client’s control to produce the required identity document.

In accordance with the Reg. 42 of The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016:

Alternative evidence of identity and nationality

where a provision of these Regulations requires a person to hold or produce a valid national identity card issued by an EEA State or a valid passport, the Secretary of State may accept alternative evidence of identity and nationality where the person is unable to obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond the person’s control.

 

Sterling Law successfully appealed the initial refusal. The Judge was satisfied that sufficient evidence regarding the ex-husband employment was provided. Moreover, following the provisions of Reg. 42 the Judge accepted the expired EEA document of her ex-husband (provided with the previous successful application for a residence card) as the evidence of nationality and identity of her ex-husband.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration related question:

Jekaterina Trubina

Email: Jekaterina@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

Shakir Hussain

Email: Shakir@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

Applicant who has resided in the UK for 20 years continuously granted leave to remain in the UK

Leave was granted in under 3 months.

Successful Article 8 Human Rights Application under paragraph 276ADE (1) of the Immigration Rules, which provides for Applicants who have resided in the UK for a period of 20 continuous years to be granted leave in the UK:

Paragraph 276ADE (1) (iii)

276ADE (1). The requirements to be met by an applicant for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK are that at the date of application, the applicant:

(i) does not fall for refusal under any of the grounds in Section S-LTR 1.1 to S-LTR 2.2. and S-LTR.3.1. to S-LTR.4.5. in Appendix FM; and

(ii) has made a valid application for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK; and

(iii) has lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment)

However, the difficulty many Applicants face in making an application under 276ADE (iii) is one of evidence. The burden is on the Applicant to show that they have resided in the UK for at least 20 years continuously when submitting an application. Therefore, it is key that any applications under 276ADE (iii) are accompanied by sufficient evidence.

This did not prove to be an issue for our client as, due to the meticulous and thorough work of Oksana Demyanchuk and her team, the Applicant was able to submit more than sufficient evidence to satisfy the Home Office that they met the requirements of 276ADE (iii), whose application was approved by the Home Office at the first instances in under three months.

In granting leave to remain, the Home Office noted that

“we are satisfied that you meet the requirements of paragraphs 276ADE (1) of these Rules”.

This means that now, after 20 years of uncertainty our client has the leave to remain in the UK.

 

Contact us should you have any immigration related question:

 

Oksana Demyanchuk

Email: oksana@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

 

Michael Carter

Email: michael@sterling-law.co.uk

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.”

 

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.

Adult dependent relative

One of the strongest misconception related to immigration is to assume that only direct family members can apply for Family visa to the United Kingdom. Direct family members usually imply fiancé, spouse, child, parent. However, according to the UK Immigration regulations, a person can apply for Family visa if he is ‘an adult person coming to the UK to be cared for by a relative’. Care can be provided by such relatives as a parent, grandchild, brother, sister, son, daughter or others who are living in the UK.

Certainly, there is a number of requirements applied to the caregiver in the UK, namely:

  • to be living in the UK permanently;

  • to be a British citizen;

  • to be settled in the UK;

  • to have refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK.

Adults who are eligible for this type of visa will have to prove to they are an essential need for long-term care due to a serious health condition, disability or advanced age. One of the most important requirements for the applicant is that he is not able to receive such treatment in his home country because it is not available or not affordable. However, one limitation for the applicant is applied – he cannot claim public funds for at least 5 years period. It means that the applicant will not be able to pretend to most benefits, tax credits or disability living allowance that are paid by the state. This is the Receiving party (British caregiver) who is taking responsibility for the applicant in all financial matters. To apply for Family visa as an adult dependent relative, the Applicant must be located outside the UK and the age must be 18 or over. If the paperwork was done correctly and the applicant was lucky enough to obtain a family visa as an adult dependent relative, his stay in the UK is considered as unlimited, as long as he joined British family living in the UK without a breach of continuity.

It should be noted that the application process is rather complex, which requires much attention and knowledge. The applicant will have to prepare not only his personal information consisted of at least 16 documents but also nearly the same amount of documents for his Receiving party not including proof of relationship with the British caregiver. The best way to cope with the paperwork is to ask an experienced lawyer for legal assistance. This way, the applicant will be ensured that all paperwork is completed correctly, which increases chances for a positive result in application consideration. Sterling Law highly recommends requesting legal assistance from qualified and licensed lawyers, who have long-term practice in immigration law and will be able to find the right solution in any unpredicted circumstances.

UPDATE: NHS Immigration Health Surcharge will increase to £400 a year from 8 January 2019

On 11 October 2018, the Home Office laid an order before Parliament in accordance with section 38 of the Immigration Act 2014, ‘The Immigration (Health Charge) (Amendment) Order 2018’  seeking to double the NHS immigration health surcharge paid by temporary migrants to the UK.

The surcharge will rise from £200 to £400 per year. The discounted rate for students and those on the Youth Mobility Scheme will increase from £150 to £300.

The increase will come into effect on 8 January 2019.

The annual charge is paid by people from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are seeking to live in the UK for 6 months or more to work, study or join a family.

The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) estimates that the NHS spends £470 on average per person per year on treating surcharge payers. Projections suggest that the increased charges may provide around £220m extra every year, with this money going to NHS services.

Current NHS Immigration Health Surcharge Requirements

Some immigration applications are subject to the payment of the immigration health surcharge (IHS).

The applicants who are making immigration application online or through a premium service centre, have to pay the IHS as part of the application or when booking an appointment.

If application is made by post, healthcare surcharge is paid online before the application is sent (the IHS reference number must be indicated in the application form).

Amount of NHS Immigration Health Surcharge

  • £150 per year for a student or Tier 5 (Youth Mobility Scheme) visa, eg £300 for a 2-year visa
  • £200 per year for all other visa and immigration applications, eg £1,000 for a 5-year visa
  • Dependants usually need to pay the same amount as the main applicants.

Only half of the yearly amount should be paid if the application includes part of a year that is less than 6 months. The migrant will have to pay for a whole year if the application includes part of a year that is more than 6 months.