We were instructed to represent a client in an immigration appeal after refusal of her visitor visa application and we are delighted to have finally won this appeal after more than two years of fierce fighting in immigration tribunals. Our client’s barrister in the Upper tribunal was Sonali Naik of Garden Court Chambers whose expertise, commitment and painstaking preparation was vital for the success of this case. The appellant was a Syrian national, currently resident in Egypt, who wished to visit her daughter’s family in the UK and who was refused a visitor’s visa due to political situation in Egypt and the war conflict in Syria.
We appealed to the Upper Tribunal from the decision of the First tier immigration tribunal which found that the appellant was a genuine visitor and met the requirements of the immigration rules, yet the judge refused her human rights appeal on the ground that no family life existed between an adult child and a financially independent parent and that the welfare of the three grandchildren of the appellant was not affected by the decision.
The judge also referred on the parliament’s decision to deny the right of appeal to visitors and concluded that this decision would have been ineffective if the Human Rights Act opened a back door for immigration lawyers to challenge arbitrary decisions. The First tier tribunal thus concluded that there was no right of appeal.
The Upper Tribunal referred to conflicting case law on the correct approach to Article 8 claims in appeals related to refusals of entry to the UK. The Upper Tribunal then found that on the very particular facts of this case, there was family life between the appellant and her UK based daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. Although the family could in principle meet in Egypt, the judge took into account the political and economic situation of the country and the difficulties involved in transporting an entire family on a visit to Egypt as opposed to arranging for the appellant to come to the UK and concluded “it is clear that the public interest concerned with excluding an individual who the respondent accepts will be a genuine visitor, who will return to her country of habitual residence at the end of her visit, who will not need to rely upon public funds during her visit and who will use her visit to foster and develop relationship with minor children living permanently in the UK(thereby promoting their best interests), is a relatively minor one. On the particular facts of this appeal, I find that the decision to refuse the appellant entry clearance for her visit will cause disproportionate interference with the family life of the individuals involved.”