1. Application for leave to remain in the UK as victim of domestic violence.
The client and her 7-year-old son entered the UK in 2007 from Pakistan as family visitors. They did not return to Pakistan when their visit visas expired because her husband had ended their relationship by informing her that he intended to remarry. With no home to return to in Pakistan, she and her son remained with their British family members in the UK. They stayed in her sister’s house and were supported financially by her brother-in-law. Both mother and son suffered with diabetes and other medical conditions for which they received treatment on the NHS.
In 2014, they attempted to regularise their status by making an application, through another solicitors firm, for them to be granted leave to remain in the UK as a parent and child on Article 8 human rights grounds based on their family and private life. They relied upon the following provisions of the Immigration Rules:
Paragraph EX.1 of Appendix FM – that the mother had a genuine and subsisting parental relationship with a child who was under the age of 18 years, the child was in the UK, had lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years and taking into account their best interests as a primary consideration, it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK.
Paragraph 276ADE sub-paragraph (vi) – that the mother was aged 18 years or above, had lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years but there would be very serious obstacles to her re-integration into Pakistan if required to leave the UK
Paragraph 276ADE sub-paragraph (iv) – that the child was under the age of 18, had lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years and it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK.
Unfortunately, the Home Office refused their application by deciding that it would be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK and return to Pakistan with his mother and that there were no obstacles to the mothers’ re-integration into Pakistan because she had lived there for 39 years before coming to the UK and it was not accepted that she had lost all ties to Pakistan. Furthermore, there were no exceptional circumstances that justified granting leave to remain and their medical conditions did not give them grounds to remain in the UK under human rights grounds because they would have access to healthcare in Pakistan.
They appealed against the Home Office decision to the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). The Tribunal Judge refused their appeal because there were aspects of the mother’s account of the circumstances in which she decided to stay in the UK that he did not accept and these aspects had a bearing on the issue of whether it would be reasonable for the child to leave the UK. Firstly, he did not accept that she had broken all ties with family members in Pakistan. Secondly, he did not accept her account of how her marriage had broken down. Thirdly, he did not accept that she had genuinely come to the UK for a family visit and then found she had been rejected by her husband and could not return home because her actions in registering herself and her son with a doctor and enrolling her son into school as soon as they arrived in the UK were not consistent with this version of events. The Judge was particularly critical of the fact that the mother had avoided paying medical fees and school fees by making use of the NHS and state education at the public expense which she had no right to do. For all these reasons, he found that it would be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK and return to Pakistan. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed.
The client and her son were very distressed by the rejection of their case which had a direct impact upon their health causing rapid deterioration. She and her son had now been in the UK for nearly 9 years and it seemed that there was no prospect of them being granted any form of leave to remain soon. At this point they instructed Saxon Solicitors to take on their case.
We made a new application for limited leave to remain on the basis of their family and private life in the UK to the Home Office. We submitted that since the previous application there had been a significant deterioration in our client’s health which we believed merited a fresh application for leave to remain in the UK. We supported our application with medical reports from their GP addressing the following matters:
The type of diabetes and specific related complications that they were suffering from;
How long they had suffered with the diabetes and each specific complication;
The treatment / medication that they had received / were receiving;
The frequency and duration of any hospital admissions;
GP’s future prognosis regarding their health;
GP’s opinion as to how a move to Pakistan would impact upon their ability to cope with their extremely poor state of health, and any reasons why he believed they would face significant difficulties living abroad in light of their medical conditions which could not be overcome or would entail very serious hardship for them, such as for example, the lack of adequate treatment that would be available to them in Pakistan and their overall health problems.
We also addressed all objections raised by the Judge during their previous unsuccessful appeal and provided suitable answers and explanations for the same. 9 months later the Home Office accepted that it would not be reasonable to expect mother and son to leave the UK. Our clients were granted limited leave to remain in the UK for a period of 2 ½ years on the 10-year parent route under Paragraph D-LTRPT.1.2. of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules. They must apply to extend their visa every 2 ½ years until they are eligible to apply for settlement (indefinite leave to remain in the UK) after the 10-year period. At the time that we successfully obtained leave to remain in the UK for them, mother and son were aged 49 and 18 respectively.