Human Rights Applications
The protection of the European Convention on Human Rights extends to every person within the United Kingdom and also to those under the authority and control of the UK immigration authorities.
Under the Human Rights Act 1998 it is unlawful for any public authority, including the Home Office (UK Visas & Immigration) and its immigration officers to act in a way that is inconsistent with the rights set out within the European Convention on Human Rights.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to apply for leave to remain in the United Kingdom on the basis that requiring you to leave would breach your human rights.
Anyone subject to an eligible immigration decision also has the right to appeal to the Immigration Tribunal on the ground that the immigration decision breaches their human rights.
The most common human rights provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights that are engaged in an immigration context are:
- Article 3: prohibition on torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
- Article 8: right to respect for private and family life.
Article 8 is a qualified right, which means that an interference with your private and family life needs to be disproportionate to constitute a breach of this right. In the immigration context, the right to respect for private and family life will often be balanced against the right of the state to control immigration and protect the economic wellbeing of the country.
If you have a partner and/or child in the UK, Article 8 may be breached if a decision means that you would be separated from your family. It may also be breached if you have resided in the UK for a long period of time and established substantial ties here. The Home Office must have regard to the best interests of the child when exercising its immigration functions.
Under the Immigration Rules, you may be granted leave to remain in the UK in order to protect your Article 8 right to family life where:
- You have a parental relationship with a child under the age of 18 who is in the UK, or has lived in the UK for the past 7 years, and it would not be reasonable to expect the child to leave the UK; or
- You have a genuine relationship with a partner who is settled in the UK and there are insurmountable obstacles (i.e. very significant difficulties) to family life continuing outside the UK.
Under the Immigration Rules, leave to remain may be granted in order to protect your Article 8 right to private life if:
- You have lived in the UK continuously for 20 years; or
- You have lived in the UK for less than 20 years but there would be very significant obstacles to your integration into the country to which you would have to go if required to leave the UK; or
- You are under the age of 18 and have lived continuously in the UK for at least 7 years and it would not be reasonable to expect you to leave the UK; or
- You are aged over 18 and under 25 and have spent at least half of your life living continuously in the UK.
We have a dedicated Human Rights and Appeals team that advises individuals in the most compelling and compassionate cases. Our solicitors are experienced in dealing with complex matters, often delivering innovative solutions with empathy and sensitivity. Our work in this sector includes advising overstayers, those who have entered the UK without permission, separated families, elderly dependants and individuals from all walks of life.
From the planning stage through to the to end we are able to assist with the application and we help clients navigate the complex application process. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance in understanding these requirements and if you would like to know more about how to apply.