Here at Truth Legal, we recognise the toll that immigration stress can take on your life. This is why we always prioritise finding innovative solutions to even the most difficult of matters.
This approach allowed us to help a man who had been applying for indefinite leave to remain and had experienced bad luck with both legal representation and the UK immigration system.
He was beginning to lose hope, until he instructed Truth Legal to assist. Happily, we were able to end the cycle of disappointment and help him make the UK his permanent home.
Our client’s story
Before finding Louis at Truth Legal, Luke* faced application rejections, unreliable legal representation, and the emotional strain that often comes along with the immigration process.
Luke is a Chinese national and arrived in the UK in 2001. He claimed asylum upon arrival but received a rejection that same year. In 2009, Luke met his long-term partner, Sara*. They share a son, Ben*, who was born in 2010 in the UK. Ben has UK citizenship.
In 2011, Luke was granted discretionary leave to remain which was valid until 2014. As Louis would later discover, this application was automatically considered under the ‘Legacy’ programme, a policy applied to historical asylum applicants. When considering the application, the Home Office accounted for the impact of his presence on the life of his Estonian partner and co-parent Sara, and his son, Ben. Ben is autistic and requires care from both parents.
Luke applied for and was granted an extension of his discretionary leave to remain, which lasted from 2015 until 2018. In 2017, Luke became eligible to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) as he has accrued the required 6 years of leave in the discretionary leave to remain category.
Everything took a turn for the worse when Luke’s solicitor’s firm dissolved and, as a result, Luke did not apply for ILR within the required time frame. When he sought out new legal advice, he was misadvised by several immigration advisors.
Luke explored other options, such as applying under the EU Settlement Scheme based on Sara being an EEA national. By the time of the biometric appointment, the stress of the immigration tribulations began to take a toll on their relationship, and Sara and Luke decided to remain as friends and co-parents to Ben. Unfortunately, this meant that the application was no longer viable.
Through no fault of his own, Luke found himself in the position of being an overstayer. He felt lost, and was unable to work, travel, or plan for the future.
How did Truth Legal help?
Despite the circumstances, Luke continued to search for other options. Sara and Luke approached Louis MacWilliam, a specialist immigration solicitor at Truth Legal, asking for his help in finding a way to regularise Luke’s stay in the UK.
As Luke’s first application for discretionary leave to remain was a made prior to 9 July 2012, Louis identified that his case could fall under obscure ‘transitional arrangements’ under the discretionary leave to remain policy. However, applying for ILR on the basis of the discretionary leave to remain as an overstayer presented a potential risk of a refusal of further leave – after all, overstaying often disqualifies an individual from apply for leave to remain, and the policy document was silent on the position of overstayers.
Louis decided that it was worth the risk. He had knowledge of other applications being successful in similar circumstances and expected that the worst outcome would be a 3-year extension of Luke’s discretionary leave to remain, due to the application being made under the transitional arrangements. Louis made detailed representations and assembled compelling evidence.
A fantastic outcome
Finally, almost a year after applying – and after 20 years of living in the UK– Luke found himself in the best-case scenario! He was granted ILR and a much-deserved reprieve from the immigration stress he had become so familiar with.
Luke’s ex-partner Sara, who remains a good friend and co-parent with Luke, spoke highly of Louis’ legal expertise. After facing many obstacles and bad luck with other lawyers, Sara was very pleased with Louis’ attention to detail. In a discussion about the support that Louis provided them, Sara said:
“We wouldn’t have even started without Louis’ help. We were lost, we did not even know where to start. Different advisors were recommending different paths […]. So many lawyers, they don’t really care, but Louis MacWilliam, he really cares. He really put his heart into it. He has the experience, knowledge, and the passion.”
Sara told us that Luke is so excited to get a job, buy a new car, travel around the UK, and financially and emotionally contribute to his son’s development. These may sound like everyday wishes, but after decades of uncertainty, Luke is looking forward to normality.
This is what Louis had to say about this case:
“Luke was unlucky in having problematic previous legal representation. He’s a committed father of a British child and has lived here since 2001. It certainly felt morally right that he should be granted indefinite leave to remain, and I’m delighted we could help find a legal route to achieve this.”
Could you use our help with an immigration matter?
Immigration matters can be very complicated and, without specialist knowledge of the different forms and processes, even choosing which application to make can sometimes be difficult. If you would like assistance from our experienced immigration solicitors, please get in touch with us.
*All names have been changed to maintain the confidentiality of our client