While there is no provision within the Immigration Rules for a person (whether child or adult) to be grantedindefinite leave to remain (ILR) solely on the length of his or her residence, there used to exist a discretionary policy 'concession' which could be used to argue that ILR should be granted to the family in certain circumstances.
The 'seven year concession', as it was called, applied to families with a dependant child (under 18) or children living with them who had been living in the UK 'continuously' for 7 or more years. In such cases the UK Border Agency accepted that 'enforced deportation or removal would not normally be appropriate' as the ties established by children over this period 'outweigh other considerations and it was right and fair that the family should be allowed to stay here'
As of the 9th December 2008, this policy was withdrawn as "the original purpose and need for the concession had been overtaken by the Human Rights Act and changes to immigration rules".
Current practices dictates that all cases involving families with dependant children with long residence should now be considered under the Immigration Rules and Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 and removal can still be challenged.
Article 8 of the ECHR outlines the right to respect for an individual's private and family life, his home and his correspondence. If an individual's private or family life can be shown to have been established, then any interference with this must both be in accordance with the law and "necessary in a democratic society" - i.e. proportionate. Furthermore, the rights of family members (including children) should be taken into account and not just that of the appellant.
Therefore, the fact that a child has spent a significant period of their life in the United Kingdom will continue to be an important relevant factor to be taken into account by case workers when evaluating whether removal of their parents is appropriate. Strong, child-centred evidence will need to be submitted to the Home Office or the First Tier (Asylum and Immigration) Tribunal.
In the Supreme Court case of ZH (Tanzania) v Secretary of State for the Home Department it was held that in cases where a child is to be possible removed from the country, the best interests" of that child must be a 'primary consideration', and this will involve asking whether it is reasonable to expect the child to live in another country and will involve establishing the child's own views. While a childs interests may be the same as their parents' this should not betaken for granted in every case. Furthermore, although nationality is not a trump card it is of particular importance in assessing the best interests of any child. It is not enough to say that a young child may readily adapt to life in another country if they have lived in the UK all their lives and are being expected to move to a country they do not know and will be separated from a parent whom they also know well. Furthermore, as citizens these children have rights which they will not be able to exercise if they move to another country. They will lose the advantages of growing up and being educated in their own country, their own culture and their own language.
This information is brought to you because you have made contacts with the UK Visa Centre at some point. If however, you would not wish to receive these information, kindly do let e know so that I can withdraw your contacts from our up-date list
If you wish that we represent you in an application based on the fact that your children or one of them has been in the UK for a period of 7years or more, then you must meet the requirements for leave to remain on the grounds of private life in the UK on the basis that
The child has is under the age of 18 years and has lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years (discounting any period of imprisonment); or he/she is aged 18 years or above and under 25 years and has spent at least half of his life residing continuously in the UK (discounting any period of imprisonment). Alternatively, the child should be aged 18 years or above, has lived continuously in the UK for less than 20 years (discounting any period of imprisonment) but has no ties (including social, cultural or family) with the country to which he would have to go if required to leave the UK.
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