“Father and Son”
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 represented an Egyptian national who initially claimed asylum and whose asylum application was refused. His wife and child were granted refugee status and the relationship between him and his wife broke down. There was a long period when he was not able to contact his son due to his ex-wife cutting off all contact. Eventually he was able to obtain his ex-wife’s contact details and began communicating indirectly with his son, supporting him financially and attended Family Court proceedings to obtain a child arrangement order from the Family Court, permitting fortnightly contact as well as regular facetime calls.
We made an application for him to be granted leave to remain in the UK on the basis of his Article 8, the right to private and family life, and the fact that he wanted to remain in the UK to maintain family life with his child, as he was involved in his son’s life and wished to play a more active role.
It was clear that the applicant was unable to meet the requirements of Appendix FM Ex.1 as his son did not live in the UK for seven years and was a refugee. In addition, the child was not a British child and therefore the application had to be made outside the Immigration Rules. We requested that he be allowed to remain in the UK to pursue his contact proceedings with his son and our application to the Secretary of State that our client be allowed to remain in the UK to be present and to continue having contact with his son was successful! It a particularly a happy resort because the child who is a refugee could not visit his father in Egypt. The child was not going to become British for some time and therefore it was vital that the father will remain in the UK now.
There were two further challenges in the case, one that we were not allowed to disclose the CAFCASS reports without the permission of the Family Court and secondly that due to Covid our client could not have face to face contact with his son. Nevertheless, given the best interests of the child under section 55 of the Borders Citizenship & Immigration Act 2009 and given the fact that the child should not be deprived of contact with his father because his own or his father’s immigration status, the application was successful.