Alone in India

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.
15 August 2021

We have assisted an appellant who was an 84 year old widower living alone in India.  He appealed against the decision of the Respondent in October 2020 to refuse his adult dependent visa application for entry clearance as a human rights claim. The appellant’s sons and his wife are both doctors.  We argued that there are significant medical problems the appellant suffers from since his wife died and that both his sons are in the UK.  Both of them are consultant and specialist doctors, both British and both employed by the NHS.  The Home Office argued that the appellant could access satisfactory treatment and care in India and to gain provision to his personal care for every task in India and that his family in the UK can afford personal care for him.  Therefore ,the respondent did not find that he is living in the most exceptional or compassionate circumstances because he had practical and financial help from his children.  The Judge found that the appellant is indeed a vulnerable 84 year old man and his vulnerability arises as a result of his age and medical conditions. He accepted the evidence that he had no desire to come and live in the UK and the trigger for the application was the death of his beloved wife who up to her heath, provided for him. Having listened to the evidence and taking into account the medical report provided in support of the appeal, he found that the appellant suffered from a number of medical conditions which limit him and that his medical conditions require monitoring and specialist care.  We have provided evidence about the possibility of care homes in India, and the Judge accepted that the son had undertook thorough and detailed research which included contacting 10 care homes for the elderly in Tamil Nadu.  In essence the evidence is that there are serious concerns that Indian care homes in the area and beyond can provide for the required level of care that the appellant needs and we have provided country expert evidence of an academic in Bengal University proving that only 2.4% of the elderly live alone in India and therefore the majority of the elderly live within extended family structure units and that India has an extremely under developed care support infrastructure making it unlikely that the appellant can receive permanent care for his health conditions.

The expert also identified the impact that Covid  19 has made on the Indian healthcare system and therefore the Judge accepted the view that the Covid 19 pandemic has placed considerable strain on the healthcare system. The Judge accepted that the appellant requires long term personal care to perform everyday tasks and that he will not be able to access the required level of care he needs because of the limited care system in India and because of the Covid 19 crisis in India.  The Judge accepted that in India there is no Covid testing procedure in care homes or Regulations, no qualified staff to provide specialist care for the appellant’s complex healthcare needs or emotional support and that the absence of family members available to assist in the care of the appellant, should he become ill and need hospital treatment.  Looking into the issue of live in carers, the Judge did not find it reasonable for the appellant, who is 84 and only speaks Tamil and has problems with hearing, to travel to another part of India and to lose contact with his neighbours and the life he has known in his final years. Therefore the appellant met the requirements of the Immigration Rules and the immigration appeal was successful.