All Articles: Family immigration

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 ...

4th 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

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

Comment: 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

Comment: 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

Comment: 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

Refugee family reunion: a user’s guide

This post is intended for refugees (including those with humanitarian protection), their families and their friends trying to understand the rules on refugee family reunion. The requirements to be met are straightforward and simple for children and s ...

20th March 2019 By

Putting a price on love: the minimum income rule for spouse visas

It will not have escaped your notice that today is Valentine’s Day. The day when love, new and old, seems inescapable. Whether it’s lovers gazing into each other’s eyes over candlelight or in moments snatched after the children have been put ...

14th February 2019 By

More evidence of how the immigration system lets down Commonwealth soldiers

Yesterday’s Sunday Times report that “Commonwealth soldiers don’t earn enough to bring families with them” will come as no surprise to immigration practitioners confronted on a daily basis with British citizen or settled clients who can bar ...

11th February 2019 By

Unlawful entrants can’t rely on domestic violence concession

The domestic violence concession allows victims of domestic abuse access to public funds while they make an application for settlement. The High Court has now made clear that this concession only applies to those who are already on the route to settle ...

22nd January 2019 By

Children of single parents: the sole responsibility and exclusion undesirable tests

Where parents have already or are relocating to the United Kingdom and both parents will end up in the UK (or one parent will and the other is deceased) then the Immigration Rules permit them to bring their children. The main requirements are that the ...

3rd January 2019 By

Exceptional circumstances in a spouse or partner visa application under Appendix FM

In recent posts we have looked at the requirements to be satisfied by a British or settled person who wishes to bring their spouse or partner into the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. But what can be done if someone is unable to meet the ...

5th November 2018 By

Comment: Home Secretary’s DNA testing apology is meaningless if he can’t get his department under control

The Home Secretary has published the results of a review into DNA testing at the Home Office, apologising to migrants who were told that genetic testing was compulsory for certain family visas. Sajid Javid also announced a potentially wide-ranging rev ...

26th October 2018 By

Immigration and nationality law for adopted children

Immigration and nationality law as it relates to international adoption is undoubtedly complex and a topic with which only a few practitioners are familiar. There are numerically very few international adoption cases, after all. The inevitable cross o ...

17th October 2018 By

Upper Tribunal tackles the law on the parent/child relationship

In SR (subsisting parental relationship – s117B(6)) Pakistan 2018 UKUT 3345 (IAC), the Upper Tribunal examines the various pieces of law relevant to deciding whether someone who has a child in the UK should be allowed to stay here. The case is helpf ...

16th October 2018 By

How to apply for leave to remain as a bereaved partner

This post is about what happens to a migrant who is in the UK on a partner visa if their sponsor passes away. If their partner dies before the migrant becomes settled, the last thing on their mind will be their immigration status. However, as status a ...

11th October 2018 By

How to apply for leave to remain as a victim of domestic violence

Domestic violence is a serious infringement of someone’s rights. While most often perpetrated against women, it can affect men and women from any ethnic background and part of society. Migrants can be particularly vulnerable and unwilling to seek he ...

26th September 2018 By

Visas for children under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules

In this post we are going to look at the requirements for children to obtain permission to enter and stay in the UK under Appendix FM. As we have seen in recent posts on the subject, Appendix FM (for “family members”) sets out the rul ...

25th September 2018 By

How to apply for a UK spouse or partner visa

Spouses and partners of British citizens or people settled in the UK can apply for a visa to join or remain with their loved ones. These applications are dealt with by the Home Office under the Immigration Rules. Specifically, the part of the Rules th ...

20th August 2018 By

Patience is a virtue, especially if you’ll meet the Immigration Rules in a couple of months

MS (Pakistan) TD and X (A Child) (Jamaica) [2018] EWCA Civ 1776, a case about the minimum income requirement for sponsoring a family member under the Immigration Rules, shows that sometimes starting over with an immigration application and waiting a ...

16th August 2018 By

What are the financial requirements for UK spouse and partner visas?

One of the trickiest parts of applying for a UK visa as a spouse or partner are the financial requirements. Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules contains minimum financial requirements to be met in entry clearance or leave to remain applications. This ...

6th August 2018 By

Tribunal decides on Immigration Rules for overseas adoptions, rescues “feral” child

The case of TY (Overseas Adoptions – Certificates of Eligibility) Jamaica [2018] UKUT 197 (IAC) involves the complex interplay between the Immigration Rules and international adoption law. It is a must-read for anyone involved in applications or ...

28th June 2018 By

How to apply for a visa as the parent of a child in the UK

The Immigration Rules permit parents living overseas, who have British or settled children living in the UK, to apply for a visa to come to live with them. In this post we will consider the requirements that a parent applying for a visa in this catego ...

25th June 2018 By

How the Home Office used the NHS to refuse my client a visa

In October 2011 the Home Office amended the Immigration Rules to allow immigration applications to be refused where the NHS had notified the Secretary of State of an outstanding debt of £1,000 or more. In early 2017, this figure was reduced to £500 ...

4th June 2018 By

Satisfying the Immigration Rules enough for Article 8 success

The test for an Article 8 claim to stay in the UK within the Immigration Rules is whether there are “insurmountable obstacles” to continuing family life outside the UK. But even if an applicant does pass this test, there is a further hurdl ...

1st June 2018 By

Comment: waive immigration fees for soldiers from overseas

The ill-treatment of Commonwealth soldiers may no longer make headlines, but scandalously high immigration fees are depriving many of those who have served this country of their right to settle in Britain, writes Vinita Templeton of Duncan Lewis. The ...

18th May 2018 By
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