16th October 2015
Kia ora! (Maori)

It's been good to see even more families over the last couple of weeks succeeding in obtaining Residence Cards and Family Permits.  A word of warning however to be careful in what you post online. While I'm absolutely an advocate for sharing experiences and even refusal letters (see below), I would advise against posting photos of identity documents such as visas, passports and RCs.  I know you are excited and want to share evidence of your success with the online 'family' that has supported you through the harrowing experience of dealing with multiple and length visa applications, but suggest that you perhaps redact the very personal information.

Below we provide an update on our ADR case, let you know what we've done with the FP refusal letters you have shared with us, and share a couple of judgments we've come across, including where a High Court judge goes so far as to label the behaviour of the UK government and Theresa May as 'grotesque'.  While these two applicants and their family are victims of incompetence and in my view, harassment, the end result is positive.  But with each case taking about three years, unfortunately the path to justice isn't a short one.

A case brought to shared by lawyer Shoaib Khan sees a judge using the word 'grotesque' multiple times in relation to the behaviour of the British government, and especially Theresa May, who in repeatedly and unnecessarily questioning the parentage of five children, cast aspersions on an elderly woman's fidelity.  I urge you to read this judgment, especially paragraph 85. It provides some reassurance that where HO behaviour is appalling, a High Court judge will call them up on it.
Back in May we shared with you info on the Mandalia case, where the applicant was refused an extension to his student visa only because of a missing page in his submitted bank statements. 

The Supreme Court has now handed down a unanimous judgment, effectively saying it was unlawful for caseworkers to not have exercised the discretion afforded to them, in accordance with their Process Instruction, to request missing documentation where not doing so meant the application would be refused.

This may be useful to those of you who have been had a refusal because of a triviality, though do seek legal advice to see whether the SC judgment helps you, as much depends on what policy was in force when your application was made and the nature of any missing documentation.
Alex H - Alex is a British citizen, as is his mum. They wish to have Alex's elderly grandma, alone in Kazakhstan, living with them and have the means to look after her, without recourse to public funds. HO prefers Alex and his family leave UK if they wish to look after her themselves.
We finally did receive a response from the HO to our claim - they refused our claim on all grounds, which is what we expected.  We filed a counter-response this week and now await with fingers and toes crossed for permission to be granted for a full hearing. 

If permission on paper is not granted (though I am hopeful it will be) we will request an oral hearing to make our arguments for permission.  Our lawyers have done a stellar job in countering all of the HO claims and pointing out that even the HO has not been able to provide any reliable statistics. 
There has been a lot of angst amongst BC members over Home Office refusing Family Permits to family members of British citizens exercising their free movement rights for reasons such as having lived in (say) Ireland for 'only' four months, not providing a reason for the move to Ireland, or not having a job offer before moving there.  These are all violations of EEA regulations.

As a direct result of your sharing FP refusal letters with us (anonymised before we shared them any further) barrister Colin Yeo was able to drafted a letter for ILPA to send to the European Commission, in a formal complaint of Home Office's repeated violations of the law, referring to real life cases such as yours which shows the treatment is not just hypothetical.

Our thanks therefore to all of you for sharing your experience, as strength is indeed in numbers if we are to hold the Home Office accountable. With regards to Colin - well, words seem insufficient to express gratitude for his time, effort and support for families battling the HO simply for the right to live together.

Next week, we will provide a summary of the issues raised in Colin/ILPA's letter.
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