In May 2022 Alexandra Pease and Jasmine Theilgaard, working together with Bernie Wood and Olivia Waddell and our dedicated team of legal associates, achieved a successful result on behalf of our client. She had entered the UK as a visitor, her health had deteriorated during the Covid-19 period and her family were deeply concerned, as was she, about her ability to return to Georgia without support. The matter progressed through the appeal process and was ultimately successful.
Background to the Case
This case involved a 72 year old national of Georgia, She entered the UK as a Visitor in November 2019 and extended her leave in line with successive Home Office coronavirus policies. In August 2020 she made an application for leave to remain as an adult dependent relative, in accordance with the Home Office's published policy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While in the UK the Appellant had been living with her daughter and her son-in-law.
The Appellant suffered from various health problems. She had suffered from a stroke and had anxiety and low confidence. After her arrival in the UK the Appellant's physical and mental health deteriorated and she developed a strong psychological dependence on the Sponsor
There is no one in Georgia who is able to provide the Appellant with appropriate care and it is not possible for the Appellant's family to move to Georgia to care for her. The application was refused in November 2021 and the Appellant appealed to the independent First-tier Tribunal on the basis of human rights (Article 8). The Appellant was subsequently diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia.
The Appeal Hearing Before the First-tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber)
Jasmine Theilgaard provided representation and advanced oral submissions before a Judge of the First-tier Tribunal who allowed the appeal. The Judge concluded that, as we had argued from the outset, there were very significant obstacles to integration should the Appellant return to Georgia. The Judge further accepted that there were no alternative care options available to the Appellant and that there were 'exceptional circumstances' relating to our client's circumstances and family in the UK.
How We Assisted Our Client
We ensured that the arguments we had raised in the initial application were substantiated by detailed documentary evidence and in particular expert evidence, which was crucial in developing our arguments.
We used detailed witness statements from the Appellant's close family who provided care and support in the UK and could provide a comprehensive account of the circumstances she faced without them in Georgia and indeed the impact upon them. Through the witness statements and documentary evidence we were able to demonstrate that the family relationships went above and beyond the usual emotional ties between adult relatives and we could rely on the impact her removal would have on the UK-based family as well as on our client herself. We looked to wider corroborative evidence to support our assertions and to bring the case together. Although of course it is not currently possible to make an adult dependent relative visa application from within the UK, we referenced the requirements in the context of the public interest and the Covid-19 policy at the time, ensuring that we could demonstrate the rules would be met.
As above, this case turned on our client's health and lack of available care in Georgia. We instructed an expert Consultant Psychiatrist specialising in Old Age Psychiatry to assess our client. The expert was able to provide an independent analysis of our client's ability to cope without her family in Georgia and the likely mental distress of separation. This report built on previous expert evidence which related to our client's health. Further, we took the opportunity to instruct a country expert for Georgia who was able to comment on the lack of care for our client in Georgia thus ensuring we approached the case covering all arguments. The Judge referred extensively in the determination to the expert evidence in the determination.
Happily for our client, following the positive determination our client was granted leave to remain and is now on a route to settlement.
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