We represented an appellant who is a citizen of Syria who made an application for family reunion to join her son who was granted refugee status. She made the application before she instructed us and the entry clearance officer decided that the appellant did not qualify for family reunion under paragraph 352A which only applied to spouses, civil partners or children under the age of 18 of the refugee. She appealed against this decision on the grounds that she had a family life with her son in the UK under Article 8 and that no consideration was given to her ill-health, dependency on her son and the fact that her son was in the UK.
At the hearing she was represented by us and Counsel, Miss Abigail Smith of Garden Court Chambers. We had to agree that she did not qualify under the family reunion provisions because she was the mother of a refugee. However, as she was from Syria, Homs, Article 8 was the only issue that she was entitled to argue.
We established that she had no family left in Syria as her children lived in various European countries and that there was no electricity or water supply and the living conditions in Syria were very bad. There were very few doctors and it was very difficult to get basic medical attention and basic food provisions. She could not go anywhere else in Syria and the son confirmed that there would be sufficient space for his mother to be accommodated with him.
Important facts were the fact that the appellant was a widow and she lived with her only son prior to him coming to the UK in 2012, when he was forced to leave Syria. He was granted refugee status without an appeal and he could support her. It was accepted that she has no one in Syria, (her daughters have both been forced to leave with their own families because of the internal conflict in Syria) and family life between the mother and son had to be considered.