The UK Home Office has come under fire from all angles for disturbing discriminatory practices when it comes to granting visas to Africans.
Home Office visa refusals against Africans can be unfair, as found by a study commissioned by The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Africa.
Government figures also show that 52% of all Home Office visa refusals are overturned on appeal, and these two issues converged during one of my recent legal cases.
The case, involving siblings from Kenya and their mum, has been one of the most challenging and satisfying visa cases I have worked on this year so far.
What you see (the images) are two visitor’s visas, obtained for the siblings-brother and sister in Kenya.
The mother of the siblings is based in the UK. She was getting married to her partner in the UK and applied for visitor’s visas for her two children who are University students in Kenya to attend the wedding. She had not seen them in a long time and therefore it was going to be a great family reunion.
The Home Office refused their visa applications.
According to one of the children (the female), when they picked the refusals up, they were hugely disappointed and didn’t know what to do.
She took her phone and googled words along the line ‘what to do when refused a UK visa’ and somehow, she landed on one of my articles on this subject.
After reading the article, she passed my phone number to her mother who is in the UK to call me and she did.
After looking at their refusals, I concluded that we cannot challenge the refusals and therefore I would have to make fresh applications for them—and put forward a good legal representation together with their solid supporting documents.
I made the fresh applications for them and the Home Office refused all of them again.
The refusals were unreasonable as some material documents were completely ignored by the Entry Clearance Officer.
At that time, the wedding was almost at the corner. So, I quickly took time to challenge the refusals in several papers of legal representation to the Home Office. And guess what, the Home Office (Entry Clearance Manager) wrote back insisting that the refusal was not unreasonable and was, therefore, maintaining the refusal.
Almost everything that was pointed out as wrong with the decision making process was ignored by the Entry Clearance Manager.
By this time, the wedding had taken place—the children couldn’t attend from Kenya. Mother and children were all frustrated and almost about to give up.
I advised that we start court proceedings against the Home Office by filing for Permission to bring Judicial Review. Even if the children could not attend the wedding, once they are granted their visas, they could travel to the UK to meet their new step-father and spend some quality time with their mother.
Several pages of Grounds for JR Permission was worked out, and I finally filed it at the Upper Tribunal against the Home Office.
Finally, the Government Legal Department which represents the Home Office in such matters responded—and agreed by Consent Orders that we should withdraw the case from court and that the refused applications would be re-considered.
About a week ago, the refusals were overturned by the Home Office after over 4 months of a legal battle—and today the siblings have picked up their passports with their visas.
It has been a worthy fight for my first two clients from Kenya.
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Adukus Solicitors is a law firm based in London specializing in Immigration & Nationality Law, Criminal Law (including Police Station and Court Representation), Housing Law, Family Law, Prison Law, and Personal Injury.