Social and Cultural Integration vs. Criminality and the Private Life

An applicant cannot rely on a period of temporary admission granted under the Immigration Act 1971 or immigration bail as lawful residence. This is even if their leave is subsequently regularised, held Court of Appeal in CI (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019EWCA Civ 2027

Being lawfully resident in the UK pending the determination of a claim for asylum is not the same as ‘lawful residence’, nor where an application is pending and that application is bound to succeed. This is undeniably relevant to the test whether ‘very compelling circumstances’ exist under s 117C(6) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (‘NIAA 2002’), but cannot be equated to the lawful residence requirement under NIAA 2002, s 117C(4).

The court emphasises the link between ‘socially and culturally integrated’ test and the assessment of a person’s private life under Article 8 ECHR. Whether it can be said to be broken depends upon whether any offending and imprisonment can be to weaken or sever the societal ties that have already been forged.

The assessment depends on the nature and frequency of the offending but also on how deeply the person had been socially and culturally integrated to begin with and does include the strength of the public interest in deportation. On the very significant obstacles issue, the Court rejected the Upper Tribunal (UT)’s finding that equated to an assumption that a person must have a knowledge of their parent’s country of origin and its culture. If such a finding is made it must be supported by cogent reasons. Where a person has resided in the UK since early childhood, even where they have not been lawfully resident for ‘most of their life’ for the purposes of NIAA 2002 s 117C(4)(a), the principles in Maslov will be highly relevant to the determination of whether very compelling circumstances exist.

The case is available here

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