'My heart is just full, it is full of joy. It is really hard to leave a small child. I had not seen him for five years. Since he has come my heart has been full. Thank you.'
We represented a refugee and victim of trafficking from Africa with her family reunion appeal to bring her eight-year-old son to the UK. We successful obtained exceptional legal aid funding and fee remission in the immigration tribunal. The government eventually agreed they were wrong and changed their decision to allow him entry. Now they have been reunited.
- We secured a residence permit for a child victim of trafficking after the government's decision to refuse it. They had decided that since the child was not co-operating with the police, was not pursuing a claim for compensation and they did not believe there was anything exceptions in his circumstances, a grant of leave was not appropriate. We were able to show that this decision was flawed, highlighting the government's lack of knowledge surrounding the impact of human trafficking on children.
'Thank you very much for your help and advice about my case. I have nothing to say only I want to say continue doing to others as same you did to me. God bless you.'
Our client from Africa had severe health problems connected to her trafficking experience and as a result she was granted permission to stay in the UK for two and a half years to allow her to received the medical help she desperately needed.
- With the help of the AIRE centre we were able to show that a victim of trafficking's EEA status was not a bar to the issue of a residence permit. The issue of EEA nationals and leave to remain as a victim of human trafficking is widely misunderstood. We were referred a case in which the AIRE centre were already involved. Our client, an EEA national, was found to be a victim of trafficking but not issued with a residence permit and she had criminal convictions gained as a result of the impact of being trafficked. The decision to grant residence for 30 months, means she is now eligible to seek support to stay safe and recover.
'I was very upset when the government didn't accept me. When we got the decision [on my appeal] I was very pleased. It made me feel like I could trust your work. I felt like the government was taking the case seriously and that I had another chance.'
We helped this victim of trafficking from Eastern Europe who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation as a child. We made representations which led to the government withdrawing a decision that she was not a victim of trafficking and agreeing to reconsider the case.
- Following a First-tier Tribunal hearing success, the Secretary of State applied for permission to appeal against the decision. At the first stage Upper Tribunal hearing it was quite apparent to the Court that the Home Office Presenting Officer had not reflected the position accurately in her grounds seeking permission. As a result costs, of the hearing were awarded against the Secretary of State and the decision upheld. It is a rare experience to have the Upper Tribunal award costs, and a very satisfying one!
- Our representations forced the Home Office to accept our client's application for permission to stay as a victim of trafficking without making him pay a heavy application fee. The client, from South East Asia, was later granted a visa.
These are just some examples of the success we've had in immigration cases. All of these decisions have made significant changes to our clients lives and many of them reveal the authorities' lack of understanding of the impact of trafficking and their legal obligations to protect victims of trafficking.