We are thrilled to share a significant victory for our client in a complex immigration appeal. This case not only highlights the intricacies of immigration law but also celebrates a rare achievement: winning an appeal for a sponsor who is the child’s grandfather, not a parent. Sole responsibility can be a complex issue and we are very pleased we could help our client.


Find out more about sole responsibility for a grandchild in this article.


Skilled Worker Visa article


Background of the Case


Our client, a young child aged 3 years old who was born in China, applied for entry clearance to the UK under Appendix FM of the Immigration Rules on July 14, 2023. The child’s grandfather, SN, acted as the sponsor as the child’s parents had recently passed.


However, the initial application was refused on September 20, 2023, on the grounds that the sponsor did not meet the eligibility relationship requirements, particularly concerning sole responsibility for the child. Additionally, the decision suggested that there were no exceptional circumstances warranting a breach of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).


Key Issues at Stake


The tribunal had to consider three primary issues:


1. Whether the sponsor had sole responsibility for the appellant.

2. If there were serious and compelling family or other considerations making the appellant’s exclusion undesirable.

3. Whether the appellant’s circumstances were exceptional enough to render refusal a breach of Article 8 due to unjustifiably harsh consequences.


Arguments and Evidence Presented


During the hearing, both parties presented their arguments. The Home Office maintained that the sponsor did not have sole responsibility for the child and that there were no serious or compelling reasons to grant entry. They pointed out the lack of detailed information and supporting evidence about the sponsor’s involvement in the child’s life, including the absence of photographic evidence of them together and the fact that the grandfather lives in the UK.


On behalf of our client, we argued that the sponsor had consistently made key decisions regarding the child’s welfare, such as arranging private healthcare and making significant financial contributions. Crucially, it was undisputed that the sponsor was the child’s sole legal representative under Chinese law. We also highlighted the exceptional circumstances of the case: the child’s father had passed away, and the mother had relinquished custody, leaving the grandfather as the primary caregiver.


Tribunal’s Findings


The tribunal found our evidence compelling. The judge acknowledged the credible and candid testimony of the sponsor and his wife. They had clearly demonstrated their responsibility for the child’s welfare, including financial support and healthcare decisions. The court documentation and the lack of challenge from the Home Office further corroborated our client’s case.


Highlighting the Grandfather’s Role


What makes this case particularly remarkable is the fact that the sponsor was the grandfather. Winning such appeals is rare when the sponsor is not a parent. The judge recognised that the sponsor, despite being a grandparent, played an integral role in the child’s life and welfare, fulfilling the requirements of paragraphs E-ECC.1.2. to 1.6. of Appendix FM.


Article 8 ECHR Considerations


The tribunal also considered the appeal under Article 8 of the ECHR, which concerns the right to private and family life. The judge noted the tragic circumstances surrounding the child’s life and the significant role the sponsor played following his son’s death. Given these factors, it was found that refusing the application would unjustifiably harm the child’s emotional development and the sponsor’s family life, thus breaching Article 8.




The tribunal’s decision to allow the appeal under both the Immigration Rules and Article 8 of the ECHR is a testament to the strength of our client’s case and the dedication of our legal team.


We are delighted with this outcome, which not only reunites a family but also sets a positive precedent for similar cases in the future. If you or someone you know is facing a complex immigration issue, we are here to help. Contact us for expert legal assistance tailored to your unique circumstances, whether that’s sole responsibility or other issues.


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