All Articles: Family immigration

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 interference” with the right of a...

11th May 2021
BY Bilaal Shabbir

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 ST (a child, by his Litigation Friend VW) & VW...

4th May 2021
BY Karma Hickman

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 following their service. We would also look to end the currently...

26th March 2021
BY Sarah Pinder

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 from getting permission to remain in the UK as a parent of...

19th March 2021
BY Alex Piletska

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 that applicants outside the UK can only be granted...

8th March 2021
BY Mary Atkinson

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 bold challenge to...

1st February 2021
BY Bilaal Shabbir

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 survivors alike know that this so-called “landmark” legislation continues to fall short— specifically...

4th January 2021
BY Anonymous

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 to read Home Office guidance can attest, it is...

1st December 2020
BY Alex Piletska

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 domestic abuse. This amendment was proposed to fill...

17th August 2020
BY Sulaiha Ali

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 the...

30th July 2020
BY Iain Halliday

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] EWHC 1299, the High Court found the Home...

27th May 2020
BY John Vassiliou

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, like so many others. Last week, the...

21st May 2020
BY Una Boyd

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 more complicated. While it is...

27th April 2020
BY Iain Halliday

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 phrase that has become almost invisible to immigration practitioners,...

8th April 2020
BY Gary McIndoe

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 can’t leave the...

25th March 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

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 film. I then ask whatever question springs to mind to make...

10th March 2020
BY Anita Vasisht

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 order for the UK to comply with its domestic and international obligations, the Bill must include...

9th March 2020
BY Anonymous

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 citizens to move to the UK. That does not, though,...

24th February 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

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: that marriage is likely to be...

6th February 2020
BY Nath Gbikpi

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 Belfast. However fierce Storm Boris...

23rd January 2020
BY Simon Barr

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 royal engagements. This change of direction raises many questions, of clearly which...

13th January 2020
BY Elijah Granet

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 Murrey’s husband lives...

4th October 2019
BY Nath Gbikpi

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 to bed — even if it’s just saying “I...

14th February 2019
BY Caroline Coombs

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 barely meet the minimum income requirement. My experience of representing over a dozen Commonwealth veterans is that those...

11th February 2019
BY Vinita Templeton

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 settlement as a partner in the case of FA...

22nd January 2019
BY Nicholas Webb

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 review of the immigration system more generally in a sign of...

26th October 2018
BY Colin Yeo

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 over with family law does not make it any easier. This blog post...

17th October 2018
BY nathgbikpi

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 helpful for two reasons: The Home Office’s approach...

16th October 2018
BY Iain Halliday

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 as a partner is...

11th October 2018
BY Nicholas Webb

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 rules for non-EU citizens who want to...

25th September 2018
BY Nick Nason

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 little longer for a decision is the right way to go....

16th August 2018
BY Nicholas Webb

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 appeals in this area. The case is also authority for the proposition that...

28th June 2018
BY Nick Nason

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 category must meet in order...

25th June 2018
BY Nick Nason

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, hot on the heels of the Immigration Health...

4th June 2018
BY John Vassiliou

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 hurdle: whether removal is disproportionate. An important question...

1st June 2018
BY Paul Erdunast

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 new Home Secretary, Sajid Javid, recently announced that the £2,389 fee...

18th May 2018
BY Vinita Templeton

In Ribeli v Entry Clearance Officer, Pretoria [2018] EWCA Civ 611, the Court of Appeal reaffirmed the “rigorous and demanding” nature of the adult dependent relative rules, following the judgment in BRITCITS v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2017] EWCA Civ 368. Proving that you have an emotional and psychological...

24th April 2018
BY Sophie Caseley

Making an immigration application for clients is all in a day’s work, but working on your own wife’s visa is enough to reduce even an expert to tears, writes an anonymous Free Movement contributor. While courting my wife during a sabbatical abroad, I would worry about things like whether I...

23rd February 2018
BY Anon

A Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules HC309 was laid yesterday, 7 December 2017. This note does not aim at detailing all the changes, instead just highlighting the most significant ones. Except where otherwise indicated, these changes will come into force on 11 January 2018, although applications made before 11...

8th December 2017
BY Nath Gbikpi

Hearty congratulations from all of us at Free Movement to the former army officer and UN charity worker who are due to marry next year. But given that Meghan Markle is an American citizen, what hoops will the happy couple need to jump through in order to complete their nuptials? You...

28th November 2017
BY Nicholas Webb
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