Leave to Remain in the UK
Specialist solicitors helping you to remain in the UK
We represent many clients in respect of their applications for leave to remain in the UK on the basis of their family and private life, primarily in the following situations:
- Family life as a partner of a person settled in the UK or a British citizen;
- Family life as a parent of a British citizen child;
- Family life in the UK with a non-British citizen child who has been in the UK for more than 7 years;
- Family life as a dependent child of a person who has leave to enter or remain in the UK;
- Private life in the UK;
- Leave outside the Immigration Rules on the basis of family or private life.
Our clients come from all over the world and their immigration histories and individual circumstances also vary. They may have entered the UK as visitors, on a spouse visa or in some other visa category. They may even have entered the UK illegally and/or claimed asylum or humanitarian protection which has been refused. They may be single, in a relationship with a settled person or British citizen or the parent of a British citizen child.
The common factor generally is that they have no status in the UK and their lives are essentially on hold. It is a sad reality that without any immigration status in the UK, it is extremely difficult to find work in order to support yourself and your family and make any meaningful progress with your life.
Family life in the UK with a British citizen child
If an applicant is a British citizen child’s primary carer and there is no other parent, guardian or carer on whom the child is dependent or who could care for the child if the primary carer left the UK, the applicant will have the right of residence under EU law (Zambrano v Office national de l’emploi (ONEm) (Case C-34/09)  2 CMLR 46). In these circumstances the Home Office will issue the appropriate documentation if the claim is established.
If the child is a British citizen but Zambrano does not apply, the Home Office normally accepts that it would be unreasonable for the child to leave the UK with the applicant where the applicant would be returned to a country outside the EU. However, leave to remain may be refused where the conduct of one of the parents (such as criminality and/or a poor immigration history) gives rise to considerations of such weight as to justify a refusal. It is imperative therefore to seek legal advice prior to making an application if you do not have a clean immigration background.
Family life in the UK with a Non-British citizen child who has been in the UK for more than 7 years
The 7-year threshold recognises that over time children start to put down roots and integrate into life in the UK, to the extent that being required to leave the UK may be unreasonable. The Home Office must consider whether in the specific circumstances of the case it would be reasonable to expect the child to live in another country. They must consider the facts for each child within the family and for the family in the round. In our experience, relevant considerations often include:
- Whether there would be a significant risk to the child’s health;
- Whether the child would be leaving with its parents and siblings;
- The extent to which the child is dependent on any wider family members in the UK;
- Whether the child is likely to be able to integrate readily into life in the country where the parent would be sent;
- Any country specific risks;
- Any other specific/exceptional factors raised by, or on behalf of, the child.
Family life in the UK with a settled partner or British citizen or person in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection
If the applicant has a genuine and subsisting relationship with a partner who is in the UK and who is a British citizen, settled in the UK, or in the UK with refugee leave or humanitarian protection, and there are insurmountable obstacles to family life with that partner continuing outside the UK, the applicant may be granted leave to remain in the UK.
In determining whether there are ‘insurmountable obstacles’ the Home Office should consider if there are very significant difficulties that would be faced by the applicant or his partner in continuing their family life together outside the UK, and which could not be overcome or would entail very serious hardship for the applicant or his partner.
In our experience, factors which are relevant to the consideration of whether an insurmountable obstacle exists often include, but are not limited to, the following:
The ability of the family to lawfully enter and stay in another country;
Cultural barriers where the partner would be so disadvantaged that he or she could not be expected to go and live in that country, for example, a same sex couple where the UK partner would face substantial societal discrimination, or where the rights and freedoms of the UK partner would be severely restricted;
A physical or mental disability of either party could be so severe that in some cases it may lead to very serious hardship, for example due to a lack of adequate healthcare;
In some cases, there may be particular risks to foreign nationals which extend to the whole of the country of return.
Whatever your circumstances, we are likely to be able to help you. At Saxon Solicitors we have an abundance of experience in helping clients to obtain leave to remain in the UK and regularise their immigration status. We find these kind of cases particularly satisfying because they allow us to help people that are the most vulnerable in society gain a foothold on the road to securing their own and their family’s future in the UK.