Mrs C, Ghanaian national, arrived in the UK in November 2012 on a six-month Standard Visit Visa and overstayed in the UK ever since. Shortly after in 2013, she met her partner, an EEA national. They had been living together since 2013 and married by proxy in 2016.
In April 2019, Mrs C had applied for a Residence Card to confirm she was a family member of a European Economic Area (EEA) national who was exercising his Treaty rights in the UK. In May 2019, Mrs C and her spouse were invited for an interview by the Home Office. The couple attended and were questioned by the Home Office separately. Unfortunately, in July 2019, the Home Office refused Mrs C’s application for a Residence Card on the basis that her marriage was one of convenience.
The application was refused solely because of a marriage interview which took place on 26 July 2019. Due to discrepancies in Mrs C and her spouse’s answers, the Home Office concluded that the marriage was not genuine.
How AY&J Solicitors helped
We advised Mrs C to appeal against this decision under Regulation 36 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, as she informed us that her marriage was indeed a genuine one. After reviewing the refusal decision, it was clear that the reasons for refusal were unreasonable. Mrs C and her husband were asked over 300 questions during the interview, and they provided the same answers. The discrepancies occurred due to the way the questions were asked. Also, the couple were nervous.
The Home Office has the burden of proving a marriage was one of convenience. They had not provided reasonable grounds for refusal, as the couple had plausible explanations for the alleged discrepancies outlined within the refusal decision.
The caseworker assigned to Mrs C drafted the grounds of appeal, setting out relevant case law in support of Mrs C’s appeal and we lodged the appeal in-time.
Thereafter, the caseworker had a meeting with Mrs C and her husband and requested responses to each of the refusal grounds put forth by the Home Office. Mrs C and her spouse provided their explanations, which formed the basis of their witness statements, drafted by Mrs C’s Solicitor.
We then requested Mrs C obtain evidence to support the appeal. The documents formed a part of the appeal bundle. We prepared three appeal bundles and submitted them to the relevant parties. We then instructed experienced counsel who represented Mrs Cs on the date of hearing.
Four weeks after the date of hearing, we received a decision from the First-tier Tribunal (FtT) confirming that Mrs C’s appeal had been allowed. The FtT Judge agreed that Mrs C and her spouse were indeed a genuine couple, and the decision of the Home Office was incorrect.