On 23 February 2018, the Home Office issued new guidance on dealing with applications for leave to remain on the basis of family life as a partner or parent or on the basis of private life, on a ten-year route to settlement.
Both the current and the previous guidance say that the longer a child has resided in the UK, the more the balance will begin to shift towards it being unreasonable to expect the child to leave the UK. Strong reasons will be required in order to refuse a case where the outcome will be removal of a child with continuous UK residence of seven years or more.
The new guidance does give examples of when those strong reasons may arise. In particular, strong reasons may arise where the parents have “deliberately sought to circumvent immigration control or abuse the immigration process — for example, by entering or remaining in the UK illegally or by using deception in an application for leave to enter or remain”.
The guidance gives a more extensive definition of what amount to “insurmountable obstacles” in the context of partners of British or settled persons who argue that there would be insurmountable obstacles to family life with that partner continuing outside the UK. See paragraph EX.1(b) of the Immigration Rules.
The factors to take into consideration remain the same:
- ability to lawfully enter and stay in another country
- serious cultural barriers
- impact of a mental or physical disability
- serious illness
- absence of governance or security in another country
but the guidance further expands on what they mean. Those applying on that basis would be advised to read the new guidance.
Very significant obstacles
Similarly, the new guidance provides a more detailed explanation of what factors which might amount to “very significant obstacles” in the context of those applying on the basis that there would be very significant obstacles to their integration into the country to which they would have to go if required to leave the UK. Here, see paragraph 276ADE(1)(vi) of the Rules.
Again, those applying on this basis should familiarise themselves with the new guidance. I welcome the addition of “faith, political or sexual orientation or sexual identity” as a factor to consider when deciding whether there would be very significant obstacles to integration.