All Articles: Family immigration

Dependent relatives to get EU Settlement Scheme family permits

The UK’s agreements on the post-Brexit rights of EU, EFTA and Swiss residents allow beneficiaries to sponsor their non-European family members to live with them in the UK. There are broadly two types of eligible family members: direct family mem ...

8th November 2021 By

Early settlement concession for young people living half their lives in the UK

Some young people born or brought up in the UK without immigration status can now apply for settlement after five years rather than ten. The change in policy comes in a new and very welcome Home Office concession, published yesterday. What follows is ...

26th October 2021 By

The 180-day absence rule doesn’t apply to people with a spouse or partner visa

Many UK immigration categories impose a requirement that the visa holder must not be outside the UK for more than 180 days in any 12-month period — that is, if the person wants to apply for indefinite leave to remain. Joanna and Nath have explor ...

30th September 2021 By

Did the Home Office inadvertently strengthen the rights of Zambrano carers in 2018?

In Velaj (EEA Regulations – interpretation; Reg 16(5); Zambrano) [2021] UKUT 235 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal looked at whether the Home Office accidentally liberalised the regulations on when the primary carer of a British child can be removed from ...

22nd September 2021 By

Briefing: to Zambrano or not to Zambrano?

The important case of Akinsanya, which we introduced in these articles, has opened the door for many non-European primary carers of British citizens to now apply for residence rights under the EU Settlement Scheme. There are many advantages to doing s ...

22nd June 2021 By

Latest on Zambrano carers and the EU Settlement Scheme

On 9 June, in the case of Akinsanya, the High Court found that the definition of Zambrano carers in the rules for the EU Settlement Scheme was wrong, insofar as it prevented those with permission to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules f ...

21st June 2021 By

Getting permission to remain in the UK as an adult dependent relative: not likely

Since the introduction of highly restrictive rules for adult dependent relatives there have been numerous stories, all desperately sad, of parents trying and failing to join or remain with their children in the UK. Mobeen v Secretary of State for the ...

16th June 2021 By

High Court finds the EU Settlement Scheme rules for Zambrano carers unlawful

In a welcome judgment handed down yesterday, R (Akinsanya) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1535 (Admin), Mr Justice Mostyn found in no uncertain terms that Zambrano carers do not lose their EU law right to reside just because ...

10th June 2021 By

Sponsor changing job is not a reason to refuse a spouse visa

If you meet the financial requirements of Appendix FM at the date of application but your sponsor then leaves their job, do you still qualify for a spouse visa? Yes, the Upper Tribunal found in Begum (employment income; Rules/Article 8) [2021] UKUT 11 ...

20th May 2021 By

Windrush family priced out of UK win human rights challenge

In this edition of “have I got immigration news for you”, we look at the case of Mahabir v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWHC 1177 (Admin), in which the High Court found that the Home Office had caused a “colossal interferenc ...

11th May 2021 By

Fresh blow to “no recourse to public funds” scheme

Rules restricting migrants’ access to benefits are back in the spotlight following a new High Court decision, which found that aspects of the “no recourse to public funds” (NRPF) scheme fail to protect the rights of children. The case of ...

4th May 2021 By

Immigration issues should be covered in the Armed Forces Bill

With the Armed Forces Bill making its way through Parliament, the opposition announced yesterday that it is moving a clause to ensure that service personnel with Commonwealth citizenship should not have to pay £2,389 for indefinite leave to remain fo ...

26th March 2021 By

When does having a partner disqualify you from keeping a parent visa?

The Upper Tribunal in R (Waleed Ahmad Khattak) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (“eligible to apply”- LTR – “partner”) [2021] UKUT 63 (IAC) has provided helpful clarification on when having a partner can disqualify someone fr ...

19th March 2021 By

Policy on fee waivers for entry clearance is unlawful, government concedes

In another blow for the Home Office on visa application fees, the department has been forced to concede that its policy on fee waivers for entry clearance applications is unlawful.  Fee waiver policies At time of writing, the relevant guidance states ...

8th March 2021 By

Appeal judges reject challenge to domestic abuse policy

In FA (Sudan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 59, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that someone applying to stay in the UK under the domestic abuse rules must have had permission to remain as a partner. This appeal was a ...

1st February 2021 By

Lords must act now to protect migrant survivors of domestic abuse

Following years of discussion and consultation, the government’s draft Domestic Abuse Bill was eventually published in January 2019. Now, nearly two years later, the bill comes before the House of Lords on Tuesday 5 January.  Campaigners and surviv ...

4th January 2021 By

Briefing: what is the English language requirement?

The English language requirement can be generously viewed as the Home Office’s response to the biblical Tower of Babel story: society is undermined by its people’s inability to speak the same language. But as anyone who has ever had the misfortune ...

1st December 2020 By

The domestic violence concession: for the few, not the many

The UK’s long-awaited Domestic Abuse Bill has reached the House of Lords stage of its progress towards becoming law. In the House of Commons, MPs had considered an amendment to lift the no recourse to public funds rule for migrant survivors of domes ...

17th August 2020 By

There’s actually no right to family life in the UK

Everyone in the UK has the right to respect for their family life under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. But as a migrant from outside the European Economic Area, what do you actually need in order to be able to stay in the UK on ...

30th July 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

People born in Northern Ireland get improved family reunion rights

The DeSouza case raised complex issues of citizenship, identity and implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, but at the heart of the case was an immigration matter and a family who have faced a brutal uphill struggle to live together in the UK, li ...

21st May 2020 By

Upper Tribunal reminds visitors not to try and stay in the UK permanently

What happens when you enter the UK as a visitor and then apply to remain here so that you can stay with your British family members? Most immigration lawyers can easily answer this question: your application will be refused. But things can get a bit m ...

27th April 2020 By

Coronavirus has taught us the limitations of “modern means of communication”

In countless Home Office decisions, and in judgments at all levels of the courts system, separation of family members for immigration reasons is – at least in part – justified by the availability of “modern means of communication”. It is a phr ...

8th April 2020 By

Close the immigration law loophole protecting domestic abusers

Adilah is from Afghanistan. In 2012, she marries a British citizen, and moves to the UK on a spouse visa, which her husband applied for on her behalf. When she arrives in the UK, things are, to say the least, different from what she had imagined. She ...

25th March 2020 By

Writing incredibly credible statements: the key to winning your clients’ cases

In asylum and criminal deportation and probably all areas of immigration, credibility is the key. Some of my own techniques for building credibility into a statement include:  I “read” or “watch” the client’s narrative like a novel or a fil ...

10th March 2020 By

The Domestic Abuse Bill fails migrant survivors like me

Whilst survivors and campaigners welcomed the reintroduction of the Domestic Abuse Bill in parliament last week, there is a clear consensus amongst us that the government’s “landmark” legislation fails to protect migrant victims. In orde ...

9th 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

Somaliland marriages are valid

The case of MM v NA (Declaration as to Marital Status) [2020] EWHC 93 (Fam) is very (very!) niche, but may be of interest to practitioners with clients who got married in Somaliland and wish to rely on that marriage for immigration purposes. Spoiler: ...

6th February 2020 By

Boris Johnson’s olive branch on family migration to Northern Ireland

The status orange weather warning was justified. On Stormont Hill in east Belfast we were exposed to the full blast of Storm Boris as it blustered fiercely around us. So the Irish Times opened its report on the recent visit of the Prime Minister to Be ...

23rd January 2020 By

Can Meghan Markle still get British citizenship if she and Prince Harry move abroad?

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have dominated recent news headlines with their announcement that they intend to “balance” their time between North America and the UK, reducing the time spent on official roy ...

13th January 2020 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
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