Very significant obstacles to integration of an elderly woman in India (and The Home Office did not bother to show up in court)

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.
11 September 2023

We acted on behalf of a national of India who was refused leave to remain under paragraph 276ADE and outside the Immigration Rules, based upon Article 8 and compassionate circumstances. She entered the UK as a visitor in 2021 and made an application to remain on the basis of private life. We assisted her in making the application and when her application was refused we submitted an appeal. Her application was based on the private life she had in the UK and her family life. She is in her 60s but sadly she has been a victim of domestic violence and suffered physical and emotional abuse from her husband. Her sponsor relocated to the United Kingdom and is now naturalised as a British citizen. The appellant’s husband died and following his death she visited the United Kingdom and returned to India at the end of every trip. However, on her last visit it became clear that she could no longer live alone and there was no one to care for her in India. She required significant input from the sponsor to manage her health conditions which reduced her mobility and she suffered age related illnesses as well as mental health issues and developed an emotional dependency on the sponsor. We provided evidence from a consultant geriatrician referring to the significant decline in her condition and her problems with memory. He stated that her ongoing depression was a contributing factor and stated that she needed supervision when mobilising. He felt that if she was to return to India without the close family support and supervision that would have a detrimental effect on the quality of her life.

We also provided a country expert report from Dr Wali, referring to the social and cultural context whereby there are very limited care options. He considered the availability of care homes and live in carers and that in India the traditional cultural is that sons care for their elderly parents and that the current infrastructure predominantly relies on co-residence with family for healthcare.

The Home Office case was that the appellant could return to India because there were no very significant obstacles and no very exceptional circumstances in this case. We provided a large amount of evidence with the application and also an additional bundle and skeleton arguments with the appeal. The Home Office did not bother to show up in Court. There was no application from the Home Office to adjourn the hearing, so a representative could attend, and it was determined that the appeal could fairly be determined without their presence, given that the Judge had the respondent’s refusal letter and their review.

The Judge applied the balance of probabilities upon making her findings of fact. The Judge did not accept that our client, the appellant, would be able to reintegrate into life in India and be able to enjoy a private life in particular because of her cognitive decline and her physical conditions. The Judge found that the evidence showed that the appellant has reached the high threshold required under paragraph 276ADE(1)(vi). The Judge also assessed the case through the prism of Article 8 and section 117(b). The Judge found that there would be very significant obstacles and there was no public interest in her returning to India. She accepted that the situation for the applicant has changed since she arrived and that there is no current reliance on public funds as her family continues to pay for her. When the Judge balanced the rights of the family members against the public interest she did not find that the public interest prevailed.

The Judge accepted the lack of care facilities to the appellant in India combined with her physical and mental health needs and most importantly the Judge accepted that the appellant was currently likely to meet the Rules for Adult Dependent Relatives if she was to return to India and apply for an entry clearance. The appeal was allowed on human rights grounds. If only the Home Office was to review the material in the first place or before the hearing…