UK Immigration & Nationality Lawyers

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‘Most exceptional compassionate circumstances’ have to encompass much more than financial hardship

Paragraph 317 of the Immigration Rules provides for circumstances where parents, grandparents or other dependent relatives of a person present and settled in the UK may apply for settlement to join their UK based sponsor.

The rule caters for dependent relatives ‘living alone outside the United Kingdom in the most exceptional compassionate circumstances and mainly dependent financially on relatives settled in the United Kingdom.’

The concept of “most exceptional compassionate circumstances” recently received judicial attention in the Court of Appeal in the case of Mohamed v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2012] EWCA Civ 331.

The Court of Appeal specifically addressed the question whether ‘the most exceptional compassionate circumstances’ are to be demonstrated but for financial assistance from the sponsor or despite such assistance.  The Court confirmed the latter interpretation.  Therefore an applicant has to meet the requirement of demonstrating the ‘most exceptional compassionate circumstances’, despite financial support from the UK.

It appears from the judgement that ‘most exceptional compassionate circumstances’  have to encompass much more than financial hardship; it is hard to imagine if anyone would meet the requirement without demonstrating serious heath problems which could only be alleviated by joining the family in the UK.

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