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Hostile Environment Continues for Families Who Want to Stay Together

Image of Sanjeev K Sharma - Director - Immigration & Human Rights Solicitor

The Home Secretary had to apologise this week after a Home Office review found that people were wrongly forced to have DNA tests to prove they were entitled to settle in the UK, more evidence of a hostile environment. This is the latest in a series of situations where the way the Home Office has behaved has had a severe impact on both people trying to move to this country, and even those who are legitimately living here.

Dealing with the Home Office is stressful and difficult for many reasons.  The BBC states the immigration officials are “drowning in documents. There are 40,000 documents in seven IT systems”.  So trying to navigate the immigration system is incredibly hard for all parties.

Another two recent cases have highlighted the harsh nature of the way the rules around visas and  immigration are implemented.

Ongoing hostile environment

A Sunderland-born woman had been told her Australian husband would have to return there, despite her job here, and their children being UK citizens. Fortunately, although with no explanation, her husband received a residency permit in the post recently, after the family appealed the decision to deport him.

We hope that there is a similar outcome for another family currently in a very stressful situation. A British citizen who has been married to his wife for 30 years has been told they need to move to Zimbabwe to stay together. He is paralysed from the neck down and his wife is his main carer. We wish them all the best with their appeal at a tribunal next month.

These stories highlight importance of good quality legal advice to make sure that you have the best chance of succeeding in what is still a hostile environment for families who want to be together.

The importance of good quality legal advice

We were delighted to be able to help one Chinese family recently who were claiming asylum. The Home Office initially refused their asylum claim on grounds of credibility and lack of supporting documents. They were however granted 30 months leave to remain outside of the Immigration Rules. Our clients were happy to accept the 30 months leave. We were not. We convinced them to challenge the refusal of asylum claim on appeal before a First Tier Tribunal. The appeal was successful and our clients received documents granting them five years refugee status.

If you or someone you know is facing a situation where you are struggling with Home Office applications, or have been refused a visa or leave to remain then please get in touch. We offer free immigration advice sessions twice a week at our Birmingham offices and twice a month in Telford.  You don’t need an appointment to come along to one of the advice sessions, simply turn up during one of the sessions. You can find full details here.

Get help with immigration applications and appeals

Our immigration team have an excellent record of challenging the Home Office, including successful cases at the Supreme Court, and we will continue to do so.

Please get in touch if we can help you too.

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