Short separation between mother and child

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.
8 August 2023

We represented the appellant who was a citizen of Jamaica and who is a boy aged 16 years old. The Home Office doubted that he was related to his mother the sponsor, and the Home Office argued that she did not show that she had sole responsibility for the child. For the appeal we served DNA evidence which confirmed the relationship of mother and son so that the only issue for the Judge to determine was that of sole responsibility. The mother was a victim of domestic violence and therefore it was not surprising that she had not contacted the biological father nor did she attempt to get in touch with him or get a Court Order, showing that she had sole custody. The Home Office insisted that the child must have had contact with his father and that inquiries should have been made to find the father for the purpose of this hearing, given that there was a possibility that the child was in contact with the father and there was no evidence to show that he was not. The Judge found the sponsor credible having produced the DNA evidence. She established that she is the mother. The Home Office failed to recognise the fact that the child was living with his mother until 2021 and therefore the period that she had to establish sole responsibility was limited to January 2022 to date. The account that she gave as to how she became pregnant and the history of the relationship was found to be credible and why she has never sought a custody order from any Court and that she had de facto custody and therefore it was not necessary.

We provided in addition evidence from the GP, schools and church to say that the sponsor was a single parent and that she was the one who made all the decisions relating to the child. The evidence was found to be plausible and consistent. This was not an appeal where the mother and child had been separated for many years and the Judge accepted that because of the closeness of the relationship, the sponsor remained the decision maker for the appellant. The appeal was successful, and the Judge accepted that the mother had continued to have control and direction in the child’s upbringing, including making all the important decisions in the child’s life. The appeal was allowed, and a decision was sent to us a day after the hearing! The child would be granted leave in line with mum. The Judge was critical of the Home Office saying that there should have been a more holistic approach in this child dependent visa application and the fact that the application was being made so soon after the mother arrived in the UK should have been given more prominence given that the appellant and the sponsor had only been separated for four months at the date of the Home Office review.