Article 8 Human Rights – How we used a Subject Access Request to highlight Home Office mismanagement and secured three years discretionary leave to remain for an entire family
A is a Ghanaian national who entered the U.K. in 2001 to undergo private medical treatment. He was granted a six-month visa. He applied for an extension on account of his continued treatment. A year lapsed with no decision from the Home Office. A became restless and submitted an application to study in the U.K. while he continued treatment. This application also remained unanswered by the Home Office.
Some years later A's girlfriend entered the U.K. as a visitor from Ghana and became pregnant during her stay. She returned to Ghana where she married A in a customary ceremony, in which A was represented by his brother. She returned to the U.K. with leave but then overstayed when her visa expired. A had a miscarriage and became mentally unstable. However, the couple had two children born in the U.K.
A who had now been in the UK for over nine years decided to submit a human rights application based on Article 8 ECHR (right to family life). The Home Office initially refused the application but on appeal we were able to show the Home Office could not defeat the Article 8 application because it had been responsible for an inordinate delay in making a decision on A's student visa application. The Immigration Judge accepted A had never become an overstayer.
A copy of A's Home Office file which we obtained through a Subject Access Request demonstrated the Home Office had seriously mismanaged his application by deporting someone of the same name and mixing the two people up. A and his family were all granted three years discretionary leave to remain in the U.K.