In a surprising turn of events an American woman who has been refused leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen, and was facing removal from the UK, has been granted leave to remain by the Home Office after intervention from the Immigration Minister.
The mother of a two year old daughter was told last Saturday that her spouse visa application had been rejected on the grounds that her husband, a self-employed bike dealer, earns less than £18,600 and therefore could not sponsor her stay in the UK. She was then informed that she would be removed from the UK in 14 days.
The woman had decided to appeal, a long process which can take up to 12 months or more, and had taken the matter up with her local MP. More than 2,000 people have signed a petition urging the Home Office not to remove the American national.
The applicant was then relieved to hear that the Immigration Minister had written to their MP to say after an interval review the Home Office would reconsider her application to remain in the UK. On 15th April 2015 she was granted 30 months leave to remain.
It is clear that strong human rights arguments involving the effect the mother’s removal from the UK would have on her daughter and husband has influenced the government’s decision to reconsider and ultimately grant the application, without going through the process of appeal.
This is striking example that whilst there are rules to be followed when making an application for leave to remain there is also a margin of discretion when unique circumstances arise that raise pressing reasons for migrants to be allowed to stay in the UK.
Many people are affected by the high financial threshold for entry clearance and leave to remain applications as a partner of a British citizen. If you would like to discuss how the financial threshold can affect you or would like to understand what options are open to you if you do not meet the requirement, do not hesitate to contact our immigration solicitors.