Allowing families leave to remain
Home Office concessions traditionally became known when published in Hansard, often in response to a ministerial question. Some years ago, a concession known by the catchy reference DP3/96 allowed families with children, where the child had resided in the UK for 7 years, to be granted leave to remain in the UK outside the Immigration Rules. That concession, as with many others, was partially incorporated into the Immigration Rules under 276ADE(1)(iv). As well as in appendix FM EX.1.
Allowing victims of domestic violence leave to remain
Another well used concession was the domestic violence concession. This allowed persons on the spouse route to obtain indefinite leave to remain where they had been the victim of domestic violence, this was incorporated into the Immigration Rules under Appendix FM DV.
Carers on a visit visa
The carers concession is perhaps not as widely referred to as it should be. For example, a person applying to come to the UK for a short-term period to care for friend or relative should apply for a general visit visa. There is no provision in the Rules for a carer to come to the UK, however, the carers concession states the entry clearance officers should consider applications for general visit visas where a person has stated they wish to care for a relative or friend in the UK with additional criteria. They should consider the type of illness or condition, the type of care required, care which might already be available to that person within the UK and the long-term prognosis of the condition or illness. The concession, in this instance, is to provide care and to arrange for the long-term care of the friend or relative. It’s not for an indefinite period and is only for a short-term period to arrange for that care.
It’s also possible to make an application for leave to remain as a carer when in the UK. The application would normally come from a person already here and on a visit visa, however, this is not a requirement of the concession. It’s usual that 3 months leave to remain will be granted to a carer when the application is made from within the UK and it is on the basis that the applicant uses that period to arrange for the long-term care of the patient.
Further Leave to remain
Further leave to remain is also available for carers, although further documentary evidence is required. This documentary evidence could include a letter from a GP or professional, social services evidence, details of other care arrangements that could be available, details of the applicant’s circumstances in their home country and evidence of sufficient funds available to maintain and accommodate the applicant. Leave to remain at this point can be granted for up to 12 months at a time and is wholly outside the rules where exceptional circumstances exist.
What is notable about the concession is, if the application for further leave to remain is refused, the caseworker must show that there are alternative arrangements for care if the applicant is unavailable. It is therefore key to provide evidence of this with the application.
Where applying for leave to remain as a carer, it is usually important to involve social services and if they are not available or unwilling to give guidance on care that will be available, it would be important to obtain an independent social worker report for use.
OISC advisers particularly should bear the value of this concession in mind, even if it is in conjunction with an alternative application, for example a Zambrano application caring for an adult, or alternatively as part of an article 8 ECHR human rights application.
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