Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law
Post flight spouses of refugees
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Some tremendously good news for many refugees: in the new case of FH (Post-flight spouses) Iran  UKUT 275 (IAC) the tribunal has found that Article 8 appeals by the spouses of refugees who married the refugee after the refugee left the country of origin should normally be allowed. Ever since refugees started being granted only five years leave to remain rather than ILR back in August 2005, this has been a real problem for some refugees. After all, why should a businessman or work permit holder with limited leave have the right to bring a spouse to the UK but a refugee should not?
See paragraph 25:
Unless there is some justification, of which we have not been made aware, of the Rules’ treatment of post-flight spouses, we think that the Secretary of State ought to give urgent attention to amending the Rules, by extending either paragraph 281 or, (perhaps preferably) paragraph 194, so as to extend to the spouses of those with limited leave to remain as refugees. In the mean time, it seems to us that although a decision based on Article 8 does have to be an individual one in each case, it is most unlikely that the Secretary of State or an Entry Clearance Officer will be able to establish that it is proportionate to exclude from the United Kingdom the post-flight spouse of a refugee where the applicant meets all the requirements of paragraph 281 save that relating to settlement.
It is unusual for the tribunal explicitly to go beyond the facts of the particular case, so the panel (which included Lord Justice Sedley) must have felt quite strongly about the issue and clearly wanted to give a strong steer to Immigration Judges.
This is one of several very interesting cases that have just emerged from the shadowy reporting committee of the Upper Tribunal Immigration and Asylum Chamber.
Interested in refugee law? You might like Colin's book, imaginatively called "Refugee Law" and published by Bristol University Press.
Communicating important legal concepts in an approachable way, this is an essential guide for students, lawyers and non-specialists alike.