Exceptional Circumstances do not mean Unusual or Unique

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.
8 April 2019

We have successfully made an application for a national who entered the UK in 2016 and had leave to remain until August 2018. In February 2017 she was admitted to hospital, having had a stroke, and the family approached us to make an application for the grandmother to be granted leave to remain outside the Immigration Rules. A previous application that the family had made was refused, as the applicant was unable to meet the requirements. She could not demonstrate that she had very significant obstacles to integration in Russia. The Secretary of State stated that the applicant had spent 84 years in Russia and could return to that country. The Secretary of State also argued that there were no exceptional circumstances in this case, which would render the refusal a breach of Article 8. However, although the Home Office believed that the stroke was not uniquely or sufficiently compelling as compassionate circumstances, we managed to win the fresh application by demonstrating exceptional circumstances. We provided medical evidence and evidence of the integration of the family members in the UK. We reminded the Secretary of State that there is no legitimate aim of preventing crime or disorder in allowing this frail and elderly woman to remain in the UK. We reminded the Secretary of State that the applicant is supported by her family and has no recourse to public funds and indeed there are serious and compelling circumstances for her need to remain in the UK. She was frail both mentally and physically and it would be disproportionate to remove her to a country where she had no family members. The Secretary of State had to take into account the strong family life that existed between all of the family members in the UK and we demonstrated that the Health Service in Russia were inadequate for this elderly lady.