By Eylem Kara
Our Immigration team was approached by the client, after his application for leave to remain as parent of a child in the UK had been refused.
The client had a convoluted immigration history and had relied on incorrect advice in the past leading to his relatively simple case becoming extremely complex.
Our client moved to the UK as a family member of an EEA national 14 years ago. Before the expiry of his EEA family permit, he applied for a residence permit and was granted with further 5 years leave to remain. This was the first failure of immigration advice he had received, as at that point he could have applied for permanent residence and settled in the UK permanently, thereby saving him considerable difficulties in the later days.
In the meantime, he fathered two children with his wife and the family settled into their lives in the UK fully. However, at certain point the relationship broke down and our client moved out from the matrimonial home. When his second residence card was due to expire, he sought immigration advise, but sadly was again advised incorrectly. As at that time he was already not living with his wife, he was advised that he couldn’t make an application under EEA Regulations and that he should make an application under the Immigration Rules – 10 years long residence.
This application was predictably refused as our client did not meet the requirements. At that time, our client had already started to live with his new partner, who was a British citizen. Despite the breakdown of his relationship with his wife, our client maintained a strong parental relationship with his two young children, but was struggling to get contact, as his wife was often obstructing the contact with children.
In an attempt to regularise his stay, our client submitted an application for leave to remain on the basis of his relationship with his two children who were born and raised in the UK, relying on private and family life in the UK. The application was refused, as he was unable to provide the relevant evidence due to the refusal of the mother of the children to support him with relevant evidence.
When the client contacted us, he had already faced several years of uphill battle to resolve his immigration situation, he was mentally exhausted and financially drained. He had been unable to work since the Home Office was refusing to acknowledge that he still continued to be an EEA family member, as the marriage with his EEA wife had not been officially terminated. He was also struggling to have meaningful contact with his children,a s the mother was making contact difficult at times. Our client then contacted us for advice and representation.
Due to the complexity of the matter, the case was handled by Dr Lusine Navasardyan, the head of our Immigration department and the team worked directly under her supervision.
During our initial consultation, we advised the client that the refusal should be by way of lodging an appeal and having his matter heard by an Immigration Judge. Considering our client’s Immigration history and circumstances, we believed that he had a possibility of succeeding, provided he was able to support the appeal with strong evidence. The client was also advised to attempt to make an EEA application as well, as this had been the right path to follow from the beginning. Therefore, the team was going to work on two paths simultaneously, to ensure the client had the best chance of success.