Guidance for Applicants following the Supreme Court ruling in Quilanbibi –v- Secretary of State for the Home Department

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.
11 November 2011

Following the Supreme Court Judgment in Quilanbib -v- Secretary of State for the Home Department (2011) UKSC 45 which ensured that the minimum age requirement of 21 in the Immigration Rules for spouse and partners of British citizens and those with settled status was unlawful, the Government has been considering the implications of the judgment and decided to take the following action:

  1. Changes to the Immigration Rules have been laid in Parliament to reinstate minimum age of 18 for a spouse, civil partner, fiancé, proposed civil partner, unmarried partner or same sex partner.  The Immigration Rules to be amended will be 277AA, 289(2)AA and 295AA of the Immigration Rules
  2. The changes to the Immigration Rules have been approved by Parliament on 7th November 2011 and come into effect on 28th November 2011.  If you and or your spouse or partner are both aged 21 or over, the Supreme Court ruling has no bearing on your case and you need to take no action as a result of that ruling. However, you still must meet all the relevant Immigration Rules to qualify for a visa.  If, on the other hand, you are aged between 18 and 20 and have not yet received a decision on your application, your application will be held pending the change to the Immigration Rules.  When the minimum age of 18  requirement will apply and the new rule comes into force you need to take no action as a result of the Supreme Court ruling
  3. If you want to make an application for your partner or spouse to come to the UK and they are 18 you can apply now but your application will be held pending the change to the Immigration Rules.  The minimum age of 18 will apply when the new rules come into force. In addition you must meet all the relevant Immigration Rules as well as the new minimum age of 18 to qualify for a visa
  4. If you were refused a visa solely on age grounds and you have appealed, the Home Office will automatically reconsider the case and you need to take no action now.  Some applicants were refused on age grounds alone between 27th November 2008 and October 2011 and have not made a subsequent successful application. Where an applicant has:

Received a refusal decision under paragraph 277, 289AA and 295AA of the Immigration Rules between 27th November 2008 and October 2011 and the applicant was refused solely on age grounds and both parties are aged 18 or over, you can seek a review of that decision by 31st May 2012.  You will need to complete a pro forma form and send it to Family Casework in Sheffield.  If you are applying for an entry clearance you need to download a copy of the VAF4, provide biometrics and submit your review request to the relevant visa application centre.