Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

Family life


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates
My train

I thought I’d highlight another case that came out before Christmas and which I didn’t have time to write up at the time. I’m sometimes asked where I find the time to write this blog. Today is a good example: I’ve prepped my case like a good barrister and I’m on the train. And will be for some time today. I find that writing posts on developments is a really good way of making sure I’ve properly assimilated them, and it is very useful when it comes to writing articles and training notes later on.

Anyway, the case is Etti-Adegbola v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 1319 and, a rare thing on this blog for case law, it is NOT an example of the tribunal being overturned. The immigration judge does come in for criticism for blatantly unfair comment about the appellant abusing immigration laws (he was a child!) but the conclusions are upheld.

It is unfortunate when judges makes these unnecessary and unjustified comments. If a case is to be dismissed it is perfectly possible to do it humanely, as this judgment itself shows. Putting the boot in just leaves a sour taste in the mouth.

The appellant came to the UK as a minor but was now an adult, living with his mother and adult sibling. Unlike in the case of JB (India) & Others v Entry Clearance Officer [2009] EWCA Civ 234, it was found that this did not constitute family life for the purpose of Article 8. The earlier case was considered by the court, but all three judges felt that it was to be distinguished because the facts of this instant case were not exceptional. ZB (Pakistan) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2009] EWCA Civ 834 does not seem to have been considered. The judgment recognises that there is no hard cut-off for family life when a child turns 18, but the absence of financial dependency seems to have been a significant factor in this case.

It is a reminder that solid evidence is needed of dependency, and even then the facts of a sad case such as this may be insufficient.

Relevant articles chosen for you
Free Movement

Free Movement

The Free Movement blog was founded in 2007 by Colin Yeo, a barrister at Garden Court Chambers specialising in immigration law. The blog provides updates and commentary on immigration and asylum law by a variety of authors.


One Response

  1. The systemic refusal of children is becoming alarming, particularly because British people surveyed think it is cruel.
    I’ve even heard of applications where both parents with at least ILR are starting to get refused.

    The lack of possible applications for children just over 18 years is totally absent, save the 10 year childrens rule for citizenship. There are several available under EU regs, but these are not available to British & non-EU immigrants.

    In USA, for example, they allow in children of any age, as long as just one of the parents has obtained a USA Passport. It does take 3 years, but permanent residency is the result.