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Useful case for partners of refugees seeking entry


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In the fine case of Fetle (Partners: two year requirement) [2014] UKUT 00267 (IAC) the Upper Tribunal holds that the requirement in paragraph 352AA for partners of refugees seeking entry clearance for living together in a relationship akin to either a marriage or a civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more is not the same as the two year cohabitation requirement in the main spouse and partner rules in Appendix FM. The official headnote reads:

In contrast to the requirement of para GEN 1.2(iv) of Appendix FM, a requirement (such as in paragraph 352AA of the Immigration Rules) that “parties have been living together in a relationship akin to either a marriage or a civil partnership which has subsisted for two years or more” does not require two years cohabitation, but two years subsistence of the relationship.  Whether the relationship still subsists, as required by the tense of that requirement and as may be separately required, is a different issue.

We find a nice bit of common sense at paragraph 9:

There may, we remind ourselves, be a number of reasons why a couple, whether married or unmarried, do not in fact live together: the demands of employment maybe such a reason; so may a need to flee the country.  Such factors do not necessarily destroy a relationship, which may continue to subsist despite the separation.

This is not sufficient to save the particular appellant, however. Despite this interpretation being more liberal than that contended for by the Home Office, the appeal is dismissed on the facts.

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Colin Yeo

Immigration and asylum barrister, blogger, writer and consultant at Garden Court Chambers in London and founder of the Free Movement immigration law website.


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