We received some pleasing news earlier this week that our team of solicitors and barristers successfully appealed a Home Office refusal at the First Tier Tribunal. Our specialist immigration team assisted with challenging a Home Office refusal of an indefinite leave to remain (long residence) application. This was a difficult case as the Applicant had more than the prescribed 540 days of absences. However, we were informed that there were compelling and compassionate circumstances behind the Applicant’s absences. After reviewing the refusal letter and the initial application it was clear the Home Office failed to apply its own rules in relation to absences.
Background to the Appeal to the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal
The Applicant was a Chinese national who entered the United Kingdom on a Tier 4 Student visa. She continued to renew her visas until she had acquired 10 years lawful residence in the UK. However, during her qualifying period, she had built a large number of absences which exceeded the minimum number of days allowed for her indefinite leave to remain application. There were good reasons behind her absences but the Home Office failed to consider these and refused her application. Where Applicants have excessive absences from the UK the Home Office can provide some flexibility and is able to use its discretion where there are serious or compelling reasons for having excessive absences.
There is no fixed definition given to what constitutes as a serious or compelling reason but the Home Office guidance makes specific reference to the following:
- Serious illness of the Applicant or close relatives such as parent or sibling;
- Natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis;
- Time spent overseas as a member of HM Armed Forces;
- Other exceptional/compelling factors. As mentioned above there is no strict definition given to what constitutes to a serious or compelling reason.
In this particular case, the Applicant was able to show that some of her absences were in relation to a family bereavement and academic visits overseas.
The case for submitting an Appeal to the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal
Our solicitors and barristers reviewed the Applicant’s initial application and the Home Office refusal letter. We discussed the grounds the Home Office relied on and focussed our attention on the Applicant’s absences from the UK during the qualifying period for her application. There were provisions in the immigration rules and policy guidance which were not considered or correctly applied by the Home Office when refusing the Applicant’s application. In particular, the Home Office did not consider the Applicant’s Human Rights under the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR) and her ties and connections that she had built over the 10 year period for her application. The Applicant had been in the UK lawfully for 10 continuous years studying and had also made a significant financial contribution to the economy. The Applicant was also in a relationship with her settled partner. By refusing the application the Home Office had engaged the Applicant’s Article 8 rights. Article 8 of the ECHR states:
Right to respect for private and family life:
- Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.
- There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
After months of hard work and dedication, our team of solicitors and barristers were able to get the Home Office decision overturned at the First Tier Tribunal. The Appellant was overjoyed with the outcome.
Submitting an Indefinite Leave to Remain application (long residence)
If you have been lawfully resident in the UK there are provisions under the Immigration Rules that allow you to apply for indefinite leave to remain on the grounds of long residence. To apply for indefinite leave to remain (long residence) Applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Applicants must show that they have 10-years continuous lawful residence in the UK;
- Applicants must show that there are no reasons why it would be undesirable for them to be granted indefinite leave to remain on the ground of long residence. Public interest factors will be taken into consideration;
- Applicants must show sufficient knowledge of the English language and Life in the UK.
The Home Office will also consider the Applicants age and strength of connections in the UK, personal history, including character, conduct, associations and employment record. Applicants can also raise any compassionate circumstances they wish the Home Office to consider when assessing the application. Our Solicitors and Barristers regularly assist Applicants with successful indefinite leave to remain (long residence) applications. Contact us for a detailed case assessment on your case or if would like some assistance in the preparation and submission of your application.
How we can assist submit a successful Appeal to the Immigration & Asylum First Tier Tribunal
Our solicitors and barristers drafted comprehensive and strong Grounds for Appeal challenging the defective reasons for refusal. In addition to the Grounds of Appeal, our solicitors and barristers prepared a detailed, structured, indexed and paginated bundle of documents which were relied upon at the appeal hearing. Further, our solicitors and barristers also assisted with the drafting of comprehensive and strong witness statements in support of the appeal. These were the key ingredients toward the success of the appeal.
Our solicitors and barristers successfully guided the Applicant through the appeal process ensuring the Appellant was kept up to date with the progress of her appeal. In addition to this, we also assisted the Appellant to gather essential documentary evidence, providing multiple substantial reviews of his documents to give her the best chance of overturning the Home Office decision. The key to a successful appeal at any court of law or tribunal is preparation and providing the correct documentary evidence in support of your case.
Using Legal Representation to submit a successful appeal at the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an appeal to the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your appeal matter has merit, you should seek legal advice from our immigration solicitors and barristers. In an instance where your case has no merits, our immigration solicitors can consider with you a fresh application with the correct documentation ensuring a positive result.
To submit a successful appeal at the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal you will need to obtain the correct documentary evidence in support of your appeal. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your appeal has sufficient grounds to appeal.
Successful appeals at the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration appeal at the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal before your matter even reach the tribunal. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your appeal at the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal and ensure your case has the best chance of success.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful appeal at the Immigration and Asylum First Tier Tribunal. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.