Elderly Relatives & Covid-19

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
9 July 2020

During Covid-19 and the lockdown our firm remains open and we continued providing legal assistance.  One of our applications was on behalf of a Russian elderly woman who was in the UK residing with her daughter whilst on a visitor’s visa.  Our argument in respect of this client was that it was the intention of the applicant to leave at the end of the visit.  That and we submitted an in time online application.  She suffered from several health conditions and provided evidence of her illnesses including psychological conditions such as forgetfulness and anxiety.  The interesting point about this case was that the consultant cardiologist confirmed that the applicant was in a high-risk group for Covid-19 and therefore international travel was not sensible.  We demonstrated that the applicant could not manage her most basic needs without her daughters’ help, and we argued the case under paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules demonstrating very significant obstacles to her reintegration back in Russia.  We emphasised that it is unattainable to suggest that she would be able to reintegrate into Russia or receive full-time live-in care given the current Covid-19 and the need to isolate and the vulnerability of older people.

We provided evidence that Russia has a low ranking for life expectancy and mental well-being for the elderly and that although there are social services in Russia which support the elderly population, they are currently overwhelmed due to Covid-19. We also argued the case under Article 8, the right to private and family life, and argued that the case would have been successful under the dependent relative route if the applicant was able to travel and make an entry clearance application.  We argued that on the principals of the case Chikwamba [2008] it is not proportionate to require her to leave simply to apply for entry clearance.  Our position was that the applicant was a highly vulnerable, frail and elderly, and would not survive the flight to Russia where she would be susceptible to Covid-19 and would have to live in isolation.  Her quality of life will be significantly disrupted, even by a temporary move to Russia.  The application was successful, to our delight, but most interesting for this client and to other clients who will follow in her footsteps is the remarks made by the Home Office. Her circumstances were based on her dependency on her daughter in the UK due to the current medical situation internationally, and the fact that she provided evidence of daily care.  The leave that she was granted will be subject to review before it expires, but it is heart-warming to see that the conditions of elderly people