Personal Immigration
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Home Office Withdraws Spouse Extension Refusal

Alex Papasotiriou and Alexandra Pease, working together with Olivia Waddell and our experienced team of legal associates, have achieved another successful result on behalf of a client of Richmond Chambers.  She had entered the UK as a partner (spouse) and made an extension application.  We were instructed at the immigration appeal stage. The matter progressed through the immigration appeal process and was ultimately successful.

Background to the Case

Our client appealed under section 82(1) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 against the decision of the Respondent, dated 16 April 2021, to refuse the human rights claim of the Appellant for leave to remain in the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules as the partner of a person with indefinite leave to remain in the UK. The Appellant appealed on the grounds that the Respondent’s decision was unlawful under section 6(1) of the Human Rights Act 1998, because it disproportionately interfered with her and her spouse’s right to private and family life under Article 8 ECHR. The Appellant appealed against the refusal on the grounds that it would be disproportionate for her to be removed from the UK as she met the requirements of the 5-year partner route of Appendix FM to the Immigration Rules.

The Initial Application to the Home Office

The Appellant was a citizen of Turkey and her husband, the Sponsor, a citizen of Turkey.  He settled in the UK, and was granted Indefinite Leave to Remain.  They entered into a relationship in 2015 and married in June 2016 in Turkey. The Appellant entered the UK as the partner of a settled person in 2017 and lived together since.  In August 2020 the Appellant made an in-time application for leave to remain as a spouse of a settled person. This was refused in April 2021.  

The Decision of the Home Office

The Appellant’s application was considered under the 10-year, rather than the 5-year partner route. As such, the financial and English language requirements were not considered by the Home Office. The Home Office found that the Appellant met the suitability and eligibility relationship and immigration status requirements. However, it was found that paragraph EX.1 did not apply to the Appellant. The private life route was also considered but the Appellant was found not to meet the requirements of paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules. It was finally found that there were no exceptional circumstances warranting a grant of leave under paragraph GEN.3.2. of Appendix FM.

The Advice of the Previous Legal Representatives

The Appellant struggled with her mental health for personal reasons and was unable to pass the English Language test at the required level for this application (A2).  Unfortunately, the ability to meet the English language requirement or the difficulties of sitting the test over Zoom at the time due to Covid-19 were not addressed by the Appellant’s previous legal representatives when the application was made.

Following receipt of the refusal decision, our client had been advised by her previous legal representative to leave the UK and apply for entry clearance and not pursue an immigration appeal. 

How We Assisted Our Client

Having been initially engaged to provide a second opinion on the refusal decision, we lodged an immigration appeal to the First-tier Tribunal on our client’s behalf and ensured that we could demonstrate our client met all the requirements of Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, to enable her to remain on the 5-year route to settlement. It was important to address the specified evidence requirements in Appendix FM-SE.

Following a review by the Home Office of the extensive appeal bundle that we prepared, as well as our appeal skeleton argument, the Home Office decided to withdraw its refusal decision and our client was granted leave to remain on the 5-year route. She will shortly be eligible to apply for ILR.

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