QUESTION: I have been served with removal directions as I overstayed my visa by 4 years (I have been in the UK for the past 10 years). Can I appeal the removal decision? I don’t want to go back to the Ivory Coast as my partner who I have been living with is here and has Discretionary Leave to Remain. We don’t have any children yet but we do want to get married.
ANSWER: An appeal gives an individual the opportunity to present their case before an Immigration Judge in the UK. In practice, it is often the best way to argue that a person should be granted leave to remain in the UK as they can present oral evidence at an appeal hearing and have their witnesses also provide evidence which the Immigration Judge will consider on a an individual case-by-case basis.
The fact that you have been in the UK for a lengthy period of time of 10 years and that you were lawfully here for the majority (6 years) and overstayed the minority will allow you to rely on an argument under Article 8 ECHR 1998, specifically with respect to the private life you have established here.
If you have been living in the UK with your partner then this will also strengthen your argument on the strength of the ties you have developed in the UK and also argue why you cannot relocate; if your partner is not from the Ivory Coast by nationality, then an additional argument would be that your removal would cause the breakdown of a serious relationship as it is unlikely that your partner would be able or willing to locate to the Ivory Coast owing to language barriers, employment opportunities and her strength of ties in the UK.
You should proceed with the appeal but you should also obtain expert legal advice a representation from a firm of specialist Immigration solicitors to assist you with the aim of regularising your legal status as appeals can be complex and require professional advice to help obtain the best outcome.
by Raheela Hussain,
Principal Solicitor of Greenfields Solicitors
The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Greenfields Solicitors on 020 8884 1166 for a Consultation with a Solicitor.