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The United Kingdom is signatory to various international agreements which require that protection is given to those who are in need. We provide advice and assistance in regards to all aspects of asylum, humanitarian protection and human rights claims. We offer legal aid to those individuals who qualify for asylum, humanitarian protection and certain human rights claims. This includes those who need to make fresh claims.
The 1998 Human Rights Act gives further legal effect in the UK to the fundamental rights and freedoms contained in the European Convention on Human Rights. These rights not only impact matters of life and death, they also affect the rights you have in your everyday life. These rights impact what you can say and do, your beliefs, your right to a fair trial and other similar fundamental rights that many people take for granted. Most rights have limits to ensure that they do not unfairly damage other people's rights. However, certain rights, such as the right not to be tortured, can never be limited by a court or anybody else.
The British authorities have signed up to protect certain rights that are considered fundamental. The rights that are protected by the Human Rights Act include:
- the right to life
- freedom from torture and degrading treatment or punishment
- freedom from slavery and forced labour
- the right to liberty
- the right to a fair trial
- the right not to be punished for something that was not a crime when it was committed
- the right to respect for private and family life
- freedom of thought, conscience and religion
- freedom of expression
- freedom of assembly and association
- the right to marry and to start a family
- the right not to be discriminated against in respect of these rights and freedoms
- the right to peaceful enjoyment of your property
- the right to an education
- the right to participate in free elections
- the right not to be subjected to the death penalty
If any of these rights or freedoms are breached by the authorities in the UK or if returned to your home country these rights would be interfered with, you have a right to an effective remedy in law in the UK. The UK is under an obligation not to remove or deport you to your country of origin, and to allow you to stay in the UK, if upon return to your home country your human rights would be disproportionately or unjustifiably interfered with. Human rights arguments can often be raised in the process of an immigration or an asylum case and we are well versed in these legal arguments.
If you are in a situation in which you believe that your human rights are being violated, it is advisable to see if the problem can be resolved without going to court by following the relevant complaints procedure. With regards to immigration and asylum law, this means that the arguments should first be made to the Home Office. Where you believe your rights have not been respected and you cannot resolve the problem outside court, you are entitled to bring a case before the appropriate court or tribunal in the UK. The court or tribunal will then consider your case. Before you decide to take any legal action is important that you seek legal advice and we can help you with this.
The amendments to the Immigration Rules introduced on 9 July 2013 significantly changed the rules applicable to those making applications to remain in the UK or to come to the UK to be with family members. More specifically the amendments deal with four categories of family migration: partners, parents, adult dependent relatives, and children of parents in the UK. These changes were brought into force to incorporate human rights considerations.
The amended rules do not apply to those individuals who are in the UK on visas obtained under the old immigration rules. The old rules will continue to be applicable to those individuals along with certain suitability requirements introduced in July 2012.
Adult Dependent Relatives
Since the changes to family migration n 9 July 2012 the rules for adult dependent relatives have become particularly onerous. If you are a parent, grandparent, child, or sibling of a settled person or a person with refugee or humanitarian protection in the UK, and you are not in a subsisting relationship (unless your partner is also apply to come to the UK) you may qualify for a dependancy visa. You will however have to show that you require long-term personal care and that there is no one that can care for you in your home country or that it is unaffordable. An application of this kind can only be made from outside the UK.
Your sponsor will need to show that they can adequately maintain and accommodate you without recourse to public funds and they must sign an undertaking that they will care for you for a period of 5 years. If successful in this application you will be granted settlement (Indefinite Leave to Remain).
It is difficult to meet the rules in this category, so we would recommend advice before making this application. Please contact us if you require assistance.