All Articles: Children

Building a case based on a child’s best interests: practical tips

“Forcing me to leave the UK will not be in my child’s best interests” is a phrase often used by parents seeking to remain in the UK. Enny Choudhury has written an excellent briefing note on the body of law behind the phrase and the Home Office&# ...

21st October 2020 By

Briefing: nationality and children in care

In August, Nath Gbikpi reported for Free Movement on R (Y) (Children In Care: Change of Nationality) [2020] EWCA Civ 1038. In that case, the Court of Appeal found that section 33 of the Children Act 1989 did not entitle the local authority to appl ...

6th October 2020 By

When can refugee children be returned to their home country under the Hague Convention?

In the case of G (A Child : Child Abduction) [2020] EWCA Civ 1185, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that, where a child has been granted refugee status in their own right, or has their own pending asylum claim, they cannot be returned under the Hague ...

18th September 2020 By

New intercountry adoption guidance arrives after long absence

New guidance on intercountry adoptions has finally been published following a lengthy gap that left parents, practitioners and even Home Office caseworkers struggling with this tricky section of the Immigration Rules.  The last in-depth document, wri ...

2nd September 2020 By

Surrogacy, citizenship and immigration: common problem scenarios

The popularity and visibility of surrogacy are on the rise, thanks in part to scientific advances, a greater acceptance of LGBT+ rights and popular celebrity stories. The thousands of families created through surrogacy have meant joy for many but ...

27th August 2020 By

Local authorities may need permission to get British citizenship for children in care

Local authorities have recently made headlines for failing to regularise the immigration status of children in their care. As the case of Darrell and Darren Roberts sadly exemplifies, not taking care of the immigration or citizenship status of childre ...

18th August 2020 By

Comment: is the EU Settlement Scheme working for children?

With one year left before the close of the EU Settlement Scheme, the headline numbers look positive for the Home Office. By the end of May 2020 more than 3.6 million applications had been made, although some people have applied more than once.  This ...

6th July 2020 By

Briefing: section 17 of the Children Act 1989

Section 17 of the Children Act 1989 imposes a general duty on local authorities to safeguard and promote the welfare of “children in need” in their area. To fulfil this duty section 17 gives local authorities the power to provide support, ...

11th June 2020 By

Part of no recourse to public funds policy declared unlawful: full judgment out

No recourse to public funds (‘NRPF’) is a condition imposed on the majority of UK visa holders preventing them from claiming benefits. In R (W, A Child By His Litigation Friend J) v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] EWH ...

27th May 2020 By

Flawed Calais camp process didn’t breach human rights of children rejected

The Court of Appeal has returned to the legal issues arising from the closure of the Calais refugee camp in September 2016 and section 67 of the Immigration Act 2016, which forced the Home Office to develop a process for admitting unaccompanied childr ...

15th April 2020 By

Legal battle to stop Home Office dispatching a 10-year-old for female genital mutilation

The High Court has granted a Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order in the case of a 10-year-old girl who the Home Office is trying to remove to Bahrain. The case is A (A child) (Female Genital Mutilation Protection Order Application) [2020] EWHC ...

13th March 2020 By

Mother of two British children denied visa to move with them to the UK

The case of SD (British citizen children – entry clearance) Sri Lanka [2020] UKUT 43 (IAC) shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone following developments around Appendix FM and the rules relating to the rights of family members of British citiz ...

24th February 2020 By

£1,000 child citizenship fee found unlawful

The High Court has ruled that charging a citizenship fee of over £1,000 to children is unlawful. The decision will be widely welcomed by campaigners who have long argued that the fee charged to register a child as British, which is set far above the ...

19th December 2019 By

My client’s 13-year-old son is alone in Ghana and she can’t afford £2,500 in Home Office fees to bring him here

In July 2018, a Ghanaian lady named Florence* received a call to say that her 12-year-old son was about to be left on the streets of Accra unless she came to take him. The boy had been in the care of Florence’s sister, who had recently died. Flo ...

22nd November 2019 By

Government drops appeal in citizenship case where girl’s mother married to someone else

A law preventing men from passing on British citizenship to their biological offspring where the child’s mother is married to someone else may now be reconsidered in light of a government decision to drop its appeal against a landmark ruling made la ...

19th November 2019 By

EU children can be lawfully resident in the UK without exercising treaty rights

The Upper Tribunal judgment in MS (British citizenship; EEA appeals) Belgium [2019] UKUT 356 (IAC) confirms that certain EU citizen children in the UK can be considered lawfully resident for the purposes of Article 8 of the European Convention on Huma ...

19th November 2019 By

British by descent: when the child of a British citizen is not themselves British

A story hit the news over the weekend of two-year-old Lucy, the child of British parents who has been told by the Home Office that she must leave the UK. It is always difficult to comment on news stories without knowing the full facts but it is certai ...

15th October 2019 By

Disclosure of documents from family court proceedings

The recent – and by now infamous – case of Re Nasrullah Mursalin [2019] EWCA Civ 1559, in which a paralegal was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for disclosing papers from family proceedings to an immigration tribunal judge, has generated m ...

9th October 2019 By

Why can’t my children join me in the UK?

Earlier this week, the Guardian published the story of Amber Murrey, a US academic who got a job at Oxford as an associate geography professor, but whose two daughters, aged 4 and 9, were refused visas to join her in the UK. The story explains that Ms ...

4th October 2019 By

Family courts have no power to prevent removal of children at risk of FGM abroad

The President of the Family Division has decided that the family courts have no jurisdiction to interfere with immigration control, even if they think it is necessary to protect a girl from female genital mutilation (FGM). The most they can do is to a ...

1st October 2019 By

Change in law for European families offers temporary hope for unrecognised adoptions 

A small amendment to UK law could soon make a big difference to European families resident here who are struggling to bring home children adopted in Muslim countries abroad.  A change to the legal definition of who counts as an EEA citizen’s “fam ...

7th August 2019 By

Comment: Britain’s unaccompanied migrant children should be supported, not abandoned

Unaccompanied asylum-seeking children often get short term leave to remain in the UK for only 30 months or until they turn 17-and-a-half, whichever is the shorter period of time. While they may get extensions at the end of such periods often they simp ...

25th July 2019 By

Court of Justice to rule on eviction of children from asylum shelters 

States have domestic and international legal obligations to provide suitable housing for unaccompanied asylum-seeking children. But a vulnerable young client at the Refugee Legal Support (RLS) clinic in Athens was last month kicked out of his accommod ...

4th July 2019 By

Law Commission proposals could transform international surrogacy

The Law Commission has proposed a new surrogacy pathway, replacing the “outdated” existing laws about having a child on behalf of somebody else. The key provisions of the current legislation have remained relatively constant for almost thirty year ...

11th June 2019 By

Important new judgments on KO (Nigeria) case and removing migrants with children in the UK

The immigration tribunal has, once again, grappled with the public interest considerations which must be taken into account in all private and family life appeals against a migrant’s removal from the UK. It is now clear that, even where a child ...

15th April 2019 By
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