Home Office broke the law when refusing foreign children long term leave to remain

Family Law|News|May 12th 2013

Home Office buildingThe Home Office broke the law when it refused to grant foreign children living in the UK permission to remain permanently, despite having previously given them temporary leave.

High Court judge Mr Justice Holman has ruled that by only granting the children ‘discretionary leave’ and refusing longer term ‘indefinite leave to remain’, the government failed to consider the youngsters’ welfare or best interests. They had been left in limbo. Previous Supreme Court rulings had, he declared, clearly established that children’s welfare must be considered before deciding whether to grant long or short term permission to stay in the UK.

The Home Secretary will now have to amend  established immigrations policies.

Charity the Coram Children’s Legal Centre was involved in SM and TM and JD and Others v SSHD, as an ‘intervener’ to provide input on the case. The Legal Centre offered evidence of the detrimental effects continuing temporary status on children’s health and development.

Coram solicitor Sophie Freeman said: “This judgment recognises that repeated grants of temporary status can be damaging to the welfare of children and contrary to their best interests. Children need stability and security and this must be factored into all decisions that the Home Office makes affecting them.”

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