UK Upper Tribunal: caseworkers failed to consider options for proof of identity in family reunification case

Thursday, May 11, 2017

On 11 May 2017, the UK Upper Tribunal published its decision in case R (on the application of Al-Anizy) v Secretary of State for the Home Department, and found that the Secretary of State acted unlawfully in refusing to consider family reunion applications due to the applicants not having passports. The case concerned a request for family reunification by Mr Al-Anizy, with the help of the Red Cross, for his spouse and two young boys, all Kuwaiti Bidoons. Mr Al-Anizy’s family attended multiple appointments at Visa Application Centres but had their application refused since they could not provide passports, despite the fact that the Red Cross had lodged a formal complaint explaining why, as Kuwaiti Bidoons, they did not have identity documents or travel documents, since they are not recognised as citizens in Kuwait and are discriminated against in that state.
The UK Upper Tribunal ruled that caseworkers must be mindful of the difficulties that people may face in providing documentary evidence of their relationship and that they had failed to enforce the Home Office family reunification policy that embraces a series of flexible possibilities for proof of identity. Moreover, the caseworkers had failed to take into account the best interests of the children involved (recomposing the family unit in the UK). The UK Upper Tribunal refused permission to apply to the Court of Appeal.


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Best interest of the child
Family reunification
Family unity (right to)
Relevant Documentation