Families and human rights

Articles about family life and human rights

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Court of Appeal reaffirms position on adult dependent relatives

In Butt v SSHD [2017] EWCA Civ 184 the Court of Appeal considers the weight to be given to the relationship between parents and their adult dependent children in the Article 8 balancing exercise. It is notable – and this was the principle reason it managed to reach the Court of Appeal – because of the original decision of the First-Tier Tribunal (FTT) to make separate findings in relation to parents and those adult dependent children: allowing the appeals of the latter, while rejecting the former. The facts The Butt family arrived in the UK on 7 July 2004. They had been granted visit visas for a 6 month stay but did...

30th March 2017 By Nick Nason

Supreme Court upholds Minimum Income Rule of £18,600 to sponsor foreign spouses in MM case

In linked judgments in the case of MM and others v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] UKSC 10, known to many as just “the MM case,” the Supreme Court has this morning upheld in principle the Minimum Income Rule which requires an income of at least £18,600 for British citizens and others to sponsor a foreign spouse. However, the court also held that the rules and policies used by the Home Office to assess such cases would need to be amended to take proper account of the impact on children and other possible sources of income and support. In a further linked judgment, Agyarko v Secretary of State for...

22nd February 2017 By Colin Yeo

Chief inspector criticises Home Office handling of sham marriage cases

The Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration has published a new report on the Home Office approach to sham marriages. The report is critical of the change in approach brought about by new powers conferred on officials by the Immigration Act 2014: The inspection found that the initial implementation of the new provisions was problematic, indicating a lack of proper planning: the Home Office did not communicate effectively with registrars about its new way of operating, where it no longer attended register offices and prevented ceremonies from proceeding new processes were cumbersome and weakened by their reliance on fragmented IT and by the limited operational support received from local enforcement...

21st December 2016 By Colin Yeo

Home Office reviews Adult Dependent Relatives rules for parents and grandparents

The Home Office has reviewed operation of the cruel Immigration Rules for Adult Dependent Relatives such as parents or grandparents introduced in July 2012. They are considered to be meeting their policy objectives and will not be changed, the review has concluded. Senior policy adviser Clive Peckover writes: As the note concludes, this reflects the policy intention of reducing burdens on the taxpayer while continuing to allow ADRs to settle here where their long-term personal care needs can only adequately be met in the UK by their sponsor here, without recourse to public funds. It is now virtually impossible for an adult dependent relative, typically a parent or grandparent, to succeed...

15th December 2016 By Colin Yeo

New guidance and numbers on sham marriage investigations published by Home Office

New Home Office guidance on Marriage Investigations has been published. Formally, it is Chapter 30 of the Enforcement Guidance and Instructions. The purpose of the guidance is stated on page 1: This guidance is aimed primarily at Immigration Enforcement staff involved in investigating allegations of sham marriage, civil partnerships and marriages of convenience. The publication is is a little curious because on 2 August 2016 I was told in response to a Freedom of Information request that there was no such policy. And how the new policy relates to the existing one on criminal investigation of sham marriages is also a mystery. See also this relevant recent written question in Parliament by...

12th August 2016 By Colin Yeo

Discriminatory to deny refugee spouses right to settle under domestic violence rule

“A” v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2016] CSIH 38 In a decision of 27 May 2016, the Inner House of the Court of Session held that excluding the spouses of refugees from the so-called ‘domestic violence concession’ (DVC) in Section DVILR of the Immigration Rules discriminates against such spouses in violation of Article 14 of the European Convention of Human Rights. Although an application for leave to appeal the decision of the Inner House to the Supreme Court has been lodged by the Secretary of State, it is hoped that the challenge will eventually result in a change to the Immigration Rules so as to afford the...

27th July 2016 By Sarah Crawford