The casualties of the British/Russian diplomatic relations

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.
21 August 2022

We were asked to represent a married couple (British wife and Russian husband) in his application for leave to remain. The couple until recently lived in Russia. We made the application for the Russian national because of the dangers presented to both of them, if they were to return to live in Russia. We argued that:

  1. The advice of the British Government initiated in March 2022, states that the conditions in Russia “constitute serious risks to individuals” who are British nationals.  These included limited travel options which might make leaving the country problematic, the suspension of Western debit, credit cards and bank transfers, and the seizing of property belonging to them.
  2. The Government has classified Russia as an “unfriendly state” and the hostility towards Russia in the West means that Western leaders are becoming objects of disdain and as a result part of the population either avoids interaction with foreigners or discriminates against foreigners.
  3. The Russian husband might have to join the Russian Army, if there is a general mobilisation.
  4. Those who disapprove on the war in Ukraine can be caught by the new amendments to the Criminal Administrative Violation Code, which produced new offences for people expressing negative opinions about the war.

In short, we argued that our client should be granted leave to remain because he and his wife cannot live together in Russia, as they will face very significant obstacles to their private and family life continuing on return. We are still awaiting the outcome of this spouse visa application and we will seek to update the Home Office as the situation in the country unfolds.