The best Zimbabwe news site on the world wide web 




Family reunion clarified

Law relating to UK immigration appeals changed

Latest developments in UK asylum cases

Asylum by published photo

UK not appealing Zimbabwe asylum judgment

Big victory for Zimbabwean asylum seekers

Court of Appeal clarifies 7-year concession

Home Office applications, deadlines and bounced cheques

Asylum based on political activities in UK

UK court says no deportations to Zimbabwe

Term time employment and thesis students

Court says foreign students can change courses and fail exams

Court of Appeal hope for married asylum seekers

Asylum seekers can't work, but they can get an education

Implications of MDC victory on Zim refugees

How the Home Office carry out raids

UK poised to resume deportations to Zim

If Simba Makoni becomes President...

Leave to remain in the UK on health grounds

Obtaining visa on basis of access to children

UK asylum decision throws lifeline for Zim teachers

Bvunzawabaya: Of UK legacy cases and amnesty

Msipa: What chance for a UK amnesty for 'illegal' workers?

Pitfalls of the Spouse Visa

AA immigration case ruling explained

New changes to UK immigration rules

UK extends ILR qualifying period

Of dodgy bus passes, amnesties and a looming judgment

When is 'indefinite leave to remain' not permanent?

Key developments in UK immigration law in 2005

UK leave to remain for children, spouses

Legal advice as good as facts presented

The incestral visa

The minister of religion visa

Justice Mungwira and judicial independence

Taffy Nyawanza: Immigration options for victims of domestic violence

Taffy Nywanza: Implications of UK asylum decison

Taffy Nyawanza: The right to family life

Taffy Nyawanza: New UK changes to managed migration

Taffy Nyawanza: UK immigration rules on marriage, domestic servants

Taffy Nyawanza: Switching from work permit to indefinite stay

Taffy Nyawanza: Immigration and you

Taffy Nyawanza: Makosi and the real Big Brother

By Taffy Nyawanza
Posted to the web: 23/03/2009 12:26:12
THIS is a short commentary on a recent interesting case called YS and YY (Paragraph 352D, British national sponsor former refugee) Ethiopia [2008] UKAIT 00093.
In brief, the Tribunal ruling in that decision is that an appellant may succeed under the family reunion provisions even though his sponsor has since acquired British nationality.

The brief facts were that a Mrs Ayele came to the UK from Ethiopia in 1993 and claimed asylum. She was granted refugee status, and in 1998, she obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK. She then proceeded to naturalise as a British citizen.

In 2005, her two children who she had left behind in Ethiopia and in the care of her mother applied for family reunion. Mrs Ayale had not been able to bring them to the UK sooner than that, but had visited them in Ethiopia in 2002, and again in 2005, after obtaining British nationality.

The family reunion application by her two children was refused on the basis that their mother was no longer a refugee and could therefore not enjoy the benefits of family reunion.

The appeal was initially allowed. The Home Office applied for reconsideration and the matter came before two senior Immigration Judges at reconsideration.

The Home Office argued that because the appellant’s mother had become a British citizen at the date of the application, she could not apply for her children to join her in the UK as dependants of a refugee.

The argument was that someone who naturalises as a British citizen could not benefit from the family reunion provisions in paragraph 352 of the Immigration Rules, even if at some point in the past they had been a refugee.

The Home Office based their argument on the basis that the purpose of the specific rule was to give effect to the concept of family reunion for refugees and to enable family members to join those who have been granted refugee status in the UK.

Here, because the mother had acquired British citizenship, she had not retained her refugee status, and because she had travelled back to Ethiopia, she had therefore ceased to be a refugee.

Because she had become a British citizen, she could not at the same time be a refugee, it was argued, and she should therefore bring her children under different provisions of the Immigration Rules.

The decision of the Tribunal came down to a question of statutory interpretation. The Tribunal was persuaded to adopt the ordinary meaning of the words in paragraph 352D(i) and concluded that the words:-

"352D The requirements to be met by a person seeking leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom [in order to join or remain with the parent who has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom] are that the appellant:

(i) is the child of a parent who has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom…”

meant that once a person had been granted asylum, they would always be able to show that they are refugees regardless of what may happen subsequently, e.g. the grant of British citizenship. In short, once a refugee always a refugee for this purpose. The grant of asylum was a fact that remained unchanged by any new status.

The Tribunal said, therefore, that what the sponsor needed to demonstrate, and which she had done, was that she was a person who had, in the past, been granted asylum in the United Kingdom.

This is an important decision, preserving as it does the benefits of family reunion to those whose immigration status may change with time.

I will put this in context. Those that have tried to bring their loved ones to join them in the UK under the Immigration Rules will know what an uphill task it is. There is a fee to pay at the point of application, and the sponsor must invariably prove that they can maintain and accommodate the applicant adequately, without recourse to public funds and third parties.

Family reunion, in sharp contrast, is free of charge at the point of application, and the sponsor does not even need to demonstrate that they work.
These are the real benefits that the YS and YY case has preserved for refugees who become British nationals.

Taffy Nyawanza works for Bake & Co Solicitors of Birmingham. He can be contacted on, ph. 0121 616 5025 or visit Bake & Co Solicitors’ website at

Disclaimer: This article only provides general information and guidance on immigration law. It is not intended to replace the advice or services of a solicitor. The specific facts that apply to your matter may make the outcome different than would be anticipated by you. The writer will not accept any liability for any claims or inconvenience as a result of the use of this information

All material copyright
Material may be published or reproduced in any form with appropriate credit to this website