20 years later – a happy end

Danielle Cohen
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor Linkedin
Danielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
20 February 2023

We acted on behalf of a Nigerian woman who entered the UK for the final time in November 2001 and became an over stayer. She has made several other applications with other firms of Solicitors for leave to remain on human rights grounds, and these were refused on more than five occasions.

What was most helpful to us is the fact that in one of the appeals the (Judge in the 2016 determination) actually accepted the fact that our client has lived in the UK for approximately 15 years and given that she has not left the UK since then we were in the fortunate position to be able to make a successful application once she had completed 20 years living in the UK.

What was particularly sad about this case was the fact that the applicant has suffered from a serious mental health issue before coming to the UK in 2001 and really came to the UK looking for refuge. She was not aware that claiming asylum was an option until she was detained in 2017. Her traumatic life events in Nigeria were detailed both in our representations and her statement, and also in the psychological report we provided. Her traumatic events in Nigeria were upsetting, but to make sure that we could seal her success, not only did we provide evidence of her residence in the UK for 20 years including Judge determinations, and the disclosure from the Home Office files, but also we wrote to the Nigerian High Commission asking them to confirm that her current Nigerian passport is the only passport that has ever been issued to her since she was in the UK. It is our firm belief that had the immigration Judge been aware of her traumatic life in Nigeria, the history of emotional and physical abuse she suffered, her suicide attempts, the test of insurmountable obstacles would have been met much earlier on. However, she is now in a position to recover from a history of chronic depression and to continue her life in the UK, safe in the knowledge that she no longer has to revisit the trauma that she experienced.