All Articles: Children

Home Office policy on no recourse to public funds found unlawful, again

The High Court has declared that Home Office policy on allowing migrants to have access to public funds is unlawful for failing to take account of the best interests of children, or of a previous judgment along similar lines. The case is R (AB & o ...

27th June 2022 By

Children can now apply for a waiver of citizenship fees

Families who can’t afford British citizenship for their children can now get it for free. A new “citizenship fee waiver for individuals under 18” policy was published today. It allows under-18s to apply to have the £1,012 fee on app ...

26th May 2022 By

Afghan boy unlawfully removed from UK for 18 months can claim damages

The Court of Appeal has held that the unlawful removal of a vulnerable Afghan child and the 18 months of disruption to his private life entitles him to damages under the Human Rights Act 1998 and under EU law. The case is QH (Afghanistan) v Secretary ...

12th April 2022 By

Home Office not required to help work out whether a child is British

Is the Home Office under a duty to provide information establishing a child’s nationality? This is the question considered by the Inner House of the Court of Session in AS v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] CSIH 16. Unfortunately, t ...

22nd March 2022 By

Intended parents can bring Ukrainian surrogate mothers to the UK

The Home Office has promised to give UK visas to Ukrainian surrogate mothers and their families, casting a lifeline to intended parents. Provision will also be made for babies born outside the UK to Ukrainian surrogate mothers, according to Home Secre ...

21st March 2022 By

Supreme Court upholds government’s right to set child citizenship fees as it chooses

The Supreme Court has dismissed a challenge to the level at which the government has set the fees for children to register as British citizens. The court held that the government has been authorised by Parliament to set the level of the fees as it cho ...

2nd February 2022 By

Uncertainty persists for Zambrano carers following Court of Appeal ruling

The Court of Appeal has dismissed the government’s appeal against last year’s decision that the EU Settlement Scheme rules on Zambrano carers are unlawful. But the judgment in Akinsanya v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2022] E ...

26th January 2022 By

“Westernised” Iraqi family granted asylum

What does it mean to be ‘westernised’? It is striking that a term that is used so frequently in this jurisdiction has never been more closely defined. I would suggest that this is because, like obscene material, it is because we ‘know it when we ...

19th January 2022 By

Can children and parents apply to remain after seven years’ residence?

From a child’s perspective, seven years of residence in the UK can be literally a lifetime. It may be the sum of all the child’s experience and the UK may be the only home they know in any meaningful sense. On top of that, children do not make the ...

18th October 2021 By

The best interests of children in Northern Irish immigration appeals

The judgment in Arturas (child’s best interests: NI appeals) Lithuania [2021] UKUT 237 (IAC) looks interesting at first, but turns out to be terrifically arcane. It is about the consequences of a failure by the Home Office to comply with its dut ...

21st September 2021 By

Can children be deported from the UK?

Yes. Children can be removed from the UK as part of a family. They can, on paper, also be deported in their own right for criminal offending: the Home Secretary’s power of deportation under the Immigration Act 1971 is not limited to under-18s, a ...

8th September 2021 By

Passports can be issued to British children abroad without abusive father’s consent

In April 2021 the High Court held that Her Majesty’s Passport Office was wrong to insist on signed consent for child passports from an abusive father overseas. That judgment has now been robustly upheld by the Court of Appeal following a disastrous ...

5th August 2021 By

Supreme Court upholds Home Office age assessment policy

The Supreme Court has upheld the policy of treating asylum seekers who claim to be children as adults if two Home Office officials think that the person looks significantly over 18. The case is R (BF (Eritrea)) v Secretary of State for the Home Depar ...

2nd August 2021 By

British citizenship for children whose parents miss the EU settled status deadline

On 1 July 2021, the British Nationality Act 1981 (Immigration Rules Appendix EU) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021 No. 743) introduced a new section 10A to the British Nationality Act 1981. This new section is aimed at ensuring that certain childr ...

1st July 2021 By

“Reasonable” to expect UK-born 11-year-old to move to Bangladesh, Court of Appeal says

The protection afforded to children who are long-term UK residents has been further diluted in a new Court of Appeal decision, NA (Bangladesh) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2021] EWCA Civ 953. The judgment is the latest in a line of ca ...

30th June 2021 By

Social care rights for vulnerable children in Wales

Immigration law, as everyone working in it knows, is not a devolved area and not likely to become so. It’s therefore easy for immigration practitioners to assume that all the important stuff is the same across the UK. That’s not the case for socia ...

26th 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

Supreme Court reiterates that a refugee cannot be removed until claim is assessed

The Supreme Court has reiterated that — for now — UK law prohibits removal of a person “who can be understood to seek refugee status” and who has an outstanding asylum claim or appeal. The case is G v G [2021] UKSC 9 and invol ...

19th 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

£1,012 child citizenship fee confirmed unlawful by Court of Appeal

Upholding an earlier High Court decision, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that the Home Office’s £1,012 fee for registering children as British citizens is unlawful. The case is R (Project for the Registration of Children As British Citizens ...

19th February 2021 By

Briefing: immigration and nationality options for children in care

Children may arrive in the care of local authorities without British citizenship or UK immigration status. They and their social workers may not realise there is an issue until, for example, the child has a school trip abroad and needs a passport; unt ...

7th January 2021 By

New unofficial policy on deporting Jamaicans who arrived as children reported

The Guardian reports that the Home Office has agreed with Jamaica not to deport Jamaican citizens who arrived in the UK under the age of 12. The scope of the reported agreement is unclear: it arises in the context of an upcoming deportation flight to ...

30th November 2020 By

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

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

Reasonableness, removals and children back in Court of Appeal spotlight

The vexed issue of reasonableness, removals and children is back in the judicial spotlight once more in a new Court of Appeal ruling, Runa v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 514. The case involved an appeal against a refusal ...

14th April 2020 By
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