Court of appeal guidance on best interests of migrant children

Refugee & Iron Wire Fencesource: Free Movement
published: 4 July 2014

The Court of Appeal has finally grappled with the question of how to apply the best interests of children in an immigration context and given detailed guidance on how judges should approach the exercise.

The judgment, in the case of EV (Philippines) & Ors v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2014] EWCA Civ 874, is essential reading for anyone acting in or deciding immigration appeals involving children. To put it another way, in our age of anonymised initials ‘EV’ is one of the relatively rare combinations it is worth learning and remembering.

The family who were the subject of the case consisted of a mother, father and three children. All were nationals of the Philippines born in the Philippines. The mother had been resident in the UK lawfully as a work permit holder from June 2007 and she was joined by the rest of the family in April 2008.

An extension application made in 2011 was refused on the mistaken basis that the application was invalid, which caused the matter to drag on for some time. When it was finally considered properly, a judge found that the family could not meet the terms of the rules because the main applicant’s employers had wrongfully failed to employ her at the relevant rate and she had been “defrauded by the care home owner by being underpaid”.

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