Dependent child from Trinidad
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor LinkedinDanielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
We were instructed by the father of the Appellant who was a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago born in December 1993, hence a minor.
She made an application for Entry Clearance in order to come to the United Kingdom to join her father as his dependent with a view to settlement. The application was made by the father before he instructed us. The application was refused. The father then instructed us to lodge an appeal and to represent her at the appeal. The father was now a British citizen and has lived in the UK since 2007. The Entry Clearance Officer dismissed it stating that there was a lack of documentary evidence to show the level of earnings of the Sponsor father and or the step mother, and also did not accept that the father had sole responsibility for the child’s upbringing.
The Entry Clearance Officer stated that the father had left Trinidad and Tobago in 2007 and since that point the child has been living with her maternal grandmother. There was also a lack of evidence as to telephone or email contact between the father and the child. It was asserted that the father had not shown that he played an active role in the Appellant’s upbringing and had not demonstrated that he had exercised sole responsibility in relation to her upbringing.
At the hearing we represented the Sponsor father and his wife. The Home Office representative accepted that now that the Appellant had shown that there was adequate maintenance this part of the refusal would be reconsidered as this part of paragraph 297 had indeed been met.
Through written statements, documentary evidence and evidence in person in Court, the father was able to demonstrate how he spent time with the child regularly and was responsible for her school fees and always kept an interest in her education. He also described how the child’s mother moved to the United States and the child maintained contact with her father. When the child was diagnosed with a serious illness in 2006 the father paid for all the medical bills and cared for her after she was discharged from hospital. We explained that he did not want to disrupt his daughter’s education when he moved to the UK especially as she was recovering from a major operation and he felt it was right for her to remain in Trinidad without any further disruptions. However, it was always the plan that she will join him in the UK.
In his oral evidence the father gave an explanation why the application for an entry clearance had been timed for 2010 rather than 2007 explaining the substantial health reasons and took account of the number of trips he took to Trinidad and the visits that the Appellant made to him in the UK. He emphasised that he met all of the Appellant’s educational expenses and her medical expenses and said that he was the person who was steering his daughter in life. It was explained that the grandmother who was looking after the child was now approaching her mid 70s and it was really very much better for the child to be with her father and his wife. The evidence of the step mother confirmed that the Appellant really viewed her as a second mother and referred to her as such and was empathic in saying how she and the father would give 100% to the Appellant. The barrister representing the Appellant drew attention to the guidance in the case of TD. His argument was that really the Appellant’s natural mother had made her choice. She had decided to go to the United States to make a new life with her husband there and although it was painful for her, she acknowledged readily and honestly that she was not going back to Trinidad to care for the Appellant. The parent that had really assumed control and authority in relation to the Appellant in the key areas of her life was now the Appellant’s father and that has been his position for some time. The immigration Judge was invited to find that the Appellant’s father had exercised sole responsibility in relation to her upbringing.