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Court of Appeal confirms that in removal cases the test for British children is one of ‘reasonableness’

By Iain Palmer – In-house Counsel

On 9 April 2020 the Court of Appeal handed down judgment in the appeal of Runa v. Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 514. The appellant, Runa, is a Bangladesh citizen married to a British citizen with whom she has two British citizen children. The Home Office refused her application for leave to remain and the First-tier Tribunal had also dismissed her appeal, a decision which was upheld by the Upper Tribunal.

The Upper Tribunal decided that there were no insurmountable obstacles to the appellant and her husband leaving the UK and living in Bangladesh and, therefore, given that it could be naturally assumed that the children would live with them, there was nothing unreasonable about them leaving the UK too. The appellant successfully applied permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

The Court of Appeal set aside the Upper Tribunal’s decision and remitted the appeal back to the First-tier Tribunal. The Court reiterated previously judgments where it had held that the relevant law on the removal of British national children (section 117B(6) of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002) focuses squarely on the ‘reasonableness’ of the British national children leaving the United Kingdom and nothing else. That there were no insurmountable obstacles to the family living in Bangladesh was not relevant to question of whether it was reasonable for children to have to do so. This is where the Upper Tribunal had fallen into error and thus its decision was set aside.

How we can help

The Home Office and Tribunals continue to misapply the law when considering family life cases and it is essential to get specialist advice if you are thinking of applying to the Home Office or you have been refused and have an appeal pending.

Our firm has been advising and assisting immigration clients for over 35 years. We have offices situated in Croydon and Central London and we are continuing to work remotely throughout the Coronavirus pandemic.

I can be emailed directly at iain.palmer@bhdsolicitors if you wish to arrange a consultation, or you can alternatively contact me via the blue contact us boxes above.

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