This week, the Guardian published this article on Albert Dolbec’s immigration case. Albert is a 90 year old man with the health conditions that inevitably come with this great age.
Albert’s case is also a prime example of why immigration advice should be taken in all situations whether coming for a visit visa, as the spouse of a British citizen or other.Hannah Wilkinson, Immigration Caseworker
Many third country nationals (anyone who is from a countryoutside the UK or EEA) enter the UK on visit visas and then mistakenly believe that they can remain in the UK by switching to another visa.
The whole purpose of UK Immigration issuing visit visas is on the basis that the Applicant will return to their home country upon the expiration of their visit visa. In almost all instances, a third country national is unable to remain in the UK after they enter on a visit visa.
Despite these rigid rules, in Albert’s case, he may not have sought immigration advice and entered the UK on a visit visa with the belief that he could then remain on a spouse visa. However, whilst this is not within the strict rules, Home Office staff do have within their powers the ability to grant leave to remain to individuals in these situations where there are ‘compelling compassionate grounds’.
The grounds can be satisfied where the individual can show ‘exceptional circumstances which mean that a refusal of entry clearance or leave to remain would result in unjustifiably harsh consequences for theapplicant or their family’.
Whilst this is a high bar, individuals have succeeded in satisfying these grounds in cases such as R (on the application of Sharma) v Secretary of State for the Home Department IJR  UKUT 00484 (IAC
In Albert’s case the Home Office are clearly taking a hard stance and making the bar for compelling compassionate factors that little bit higher. This is contrast Sajid Javid’s comments last Summer on wanting to make the immigration system ‘fairer, more compassionate’ and to use common sense.
MLC Immigration Lawyers regularly support clients in situations similar to Albert’s and we are highly skilled in making successful applications on compassionate grounds and outside the immigration rules. Situations such as these demonstrate the absolute need for individuals to seek immigration advice.
If you need some legal advice relating to an immigration matter contact MLC TODAY.