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Spouse Visa Appeal & Human Rights

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This appeal relates to an application lodged by ICS Legal on behalf of the appellant under the Appendix FM spouse/partner visa route, which was then wrongly refused by the Home Office and the First Tier Tribunal agreed with ICS Legal in allowing the immigration appeal.

Full facts of the case and what we did are set out as follows. Please note due to data protection, the appellant's name or any relevant details are not enclosed. 

Summary case facts

The appellant lodged an immigration spouse visa application which was refused because the financial test was not met by the sponsor in the UK. The application for the spouse visa was refused in 2021, and a right to appeal was generated.

The Home Office did not accept the evidences and information from the appellant of his income abroad. The sponsor was employed in the UK but due to their British child, she was not able to meet the threshold alone. 

The appeal matter

The spouse visa appeal went before the First Tier Tribunal at IAC Hatton Cross, and the Honourable FtT Judge Ian Howard presided over the matter. The Tribunal did not permit the appellant to speak as he was outside of the UK and whilst every effort was made to get confirmation from the Foreign Office for the UK, this was not granted.

The Judge made the following statement in relation to this "It was at this stage I learnt that the appellant’s representative had on a number of occasions petitioned the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for assistance in securing permission for the appellant to give evidence in accordance with the Presidential Guidance. Sadly these requests had simply not been responded to by the date of the hearing."

Home Office was represented on the day, and ICS Legal represented the appellant and the sponsor. During the appellant's statement of evidence and cross examination, the Home Office have put forward questions related to her husband's income and businesses. It was not practical or acceptable that the sponsor could answer those questions. 

ICS Legal made a request for adjournment to avoid the appeal being dismissed because Home Office wanted to make the appellant's income as a finding and have the appeal being dismissed by the Judge. Home Office did not accept the adjournment and claimed that whilst the Foreign Office failed in its obligation, the matter should proceed. The Judge after deliberation agreed for the adjounrment and put forward directions to both parties. 

Following the adjournment of the appeal hearing, the Foreign Office did not allow the appellant permission but we drafted a further detailed witness statement in any event. This was adopted and admitted as evidence, related to the appellant's income. 

The Home Office in their application decision failed to accept third party income, and failed to consider that evidence. Honourable FtT Judge Ian Howard accepted the third party evidence and discussed about her income & funds available for the family. The application for the appellant's spouse visa contained material evidences related to his income and business, which the Home Office did not consider. The Judge made reference to this as follows:

"The fact of the assets and income was made known to the respondent at the time of the application. A covering letter dated the 28th May 2021 and supporting documents was included with the application and can be found in the respondent’s bundle. It was never suggested that any of these documents is unreliable. In his witness statement the appellant attests to their veracity. The appellant had hoped to be able to give evidence about these documents at the hearing, but for reasons which exclusively lay at the door of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he was unable to do so."

In hearing our submissions, evidences and statements, Judge agreed that it was not acceptable and that he should be granted leave as a spouse. The appeal was allowed. Home Office agreed not to challenge the decision and granted the visa. 

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