Under the UK Immigration Rules, where a person with ‘sole responsibility’ for a child is granted indefinite leave to remain in the UK, that child can join him or her.
We were instructed recently by a British national whose 15 year old child was a Jamaican national. Our client wished for his son to live in the UK with him as he had settled here and had always provided for him financially and emotionally. In 2013, we submitted the child’s application along with detailed legal representations to the visa office in Jamaica and received news that his visa had been granted at first instance. The ‘sole responsibility’ rule in such applications can be very complex so we are delighted that we were able to assist in a successful result at the first instance.
Sole Responsibility: Children Joining One Parent in the UK
To meet the UK Border Agency’s (UKBA) sole responsibility requirement, it is necessary to satisfy the UKBA that the sponsoring parent (the parent living in the UK), has usually for a substantial period of time, been the main person exercising parental responsibility for the child. This means that the parent has had and still has the ultimate responsibility for the major decisions relating to the child’s upbringing and provides the child with the majority of the financial and emotional support it requires. The parent must be able to show that they have had and continues to have complete care and control of the child, despite the fact that they do not live in the same country.
UK Courts Stance on the UKBA’s Sole Responsibility Rule
The meaning of the term ‘sole responsibility’ cannot be precise and cases are decided on their individual merits. It can be very difficult to prove in entry clearance applications and often leads to refusal if the UKBA is not satisfied the parent holds sole responsibility over the child. Due to the complexity of applications of this nature, many applications are refused and end up in the Tribunals to argue before an Immigration Judge.
It has been accepted by the courts that it is very difficult to establish absolute ‘sole responsibility’ since in the majority of situations the other parent has at least some responsibility for their child’s upbringing. The UKBA’s guidance for their caseworkers does highlight cases where the sponsoring parent in the UK has left the child in the custody of a relative but has still provided for the child financially and emotionally.
Successful Record of Sole Responsibility Visa Applications
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process of making an entry clearance application step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. As stated, our firm has a successful track record of ensuring applications are accompanied by detailed legal representations to limit the chances of refusal. Please contact us so that we can review your case and provide you with an assessment. If you have been refused entry clearance for this visa, contact us so that we can review your options and let you know how to appeal the decision.