Four months ago, we were approached by Mr V, a US national residing in Europe. He had separated from his children’s mother many years ago but chose not to get divorced and to continue parenting the children jointly. He applied for entry clearance to join his British children but had not anticipated the technical difficulties with this type of online application which is why he did not initially seek legal advice; consequently, he selected the wrong category of visa. Although the purpose of the application was clearly set out, it was still refused.
Under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules, you cannot apply for leave to enter or remain as a “Parent” if you are “eligible” to apply as a “Partner”. The refusal letter informed Mr V that he could not apply for leave as a “Parent” because he was still married to the mother of his children and, as such, was defined as a “Partner”, however as he was not in a subsisting relationship with his wife, he did not qualify as a “Partner”.
Mr V attended a consultation with our Senior Immigration Solicitor at our central London offices to seek advice. Mr V was anxious to get a speedy result.
As a non-visa national, he had been able to enter the UK as a visitor without problems. However, by applying for leave to reside in the UK, he risked being refused entry as a visitor due to doubts about his intention to leave at the end of the visit.
Determining the optimal strategy
We firstly recommended that Mr V should appeal the refusal and make a new application. We advised that with a new application, we would be able to provide new evidence and correct the errors made in the first application. Entry clearance appeals are often heard 6-12 months after an appeal is lodged, but by appealing anyway, it meant that if the new application was refused, we could simply link the appeals. In doing so, no time would be lost in waiting for a new decision.
Mr V took our advice, and we set to work preparing detailed legal representations, gathering new evidence and drafting the grounds of appeal.
The application was refused, again for the same reasons. This was not a surprise as we had advised Mr V that the evidence submitted with the new application may increase the chances of the refusal being overturned, but this could not be guaranteed. Mr V was understandably frustrated, as a successful businessman who travelled a lot for work, he was concerned that he would be refused entry if he left the UK.
Using our experience to launch an appeal
Based on our years of experience, we were confident that once we lodged the second appeal.
Based on our years of experience, we were confident that once we lodged the second appeal. We could contact the Tribunal to obtain the appeal reference number and proceed with a request to the Home Office to review the refusals before a hearing taking place.
We drafted submissions to the Appeals Reconsideration Team enclosing both previous applications, supporting evidence and refusals. We argued that the decision was improper on the basis that the Home Office could not reasonably convince a Judge that the four British children should be prevented from having a relationship with their father simply because he had not divorced their mother. The day after our submissions, we were advised by the Appeals Reconsideration Team that we would receive a response within two weeks.
Mr V was Granted Entry Clearance
Only two days later, we were delighted to call Mr V to advise him that the Home Office had reviewed the case and had withdrawn both refusals and granted Mr V entry clearance.
Not only did our assistance and expert legal knowledge help Mr V obtain his goal, but it also cleared his immigration history which had, until that point contained two refusal decisions that would have to be declared on any visa application to other countries. Remember, Mr V travels a lot, and this could have impacted on his ability to gain entry to other countries.
We are proud of the work we did with Mr V; by going the extra mile in our pursuit of justice produced a fantastic result for Mr V and his children.