JA (Meaning of “Access Rights”): UTIAC 17 Apr 2015

UTIAC 1. Where the Immigration Rules are silent as to interpretation, it may be necessary to refer to the Children Act 1989 (as amended) and other family legislation in order to construe those parts of the Rules which provide a route to entry clearance or leave to remain as a parent.
2. ‘Access’ in the latest version of the Immigration Rules means the same as ‘contact’ in the previous paragraph 284A. Neither term is now used in the Family Court where Child Arrangements Orders are made to regulate ‘(a) with whom a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact; and (b) where a child is to live, spend time or otherwise have contact with any person.’
3. The expression ‘access rights’ in paragraph E-LTRPT.2.4 (a) (i) may refer equally to parents who have ‘indirect’ access to a child by means of letters, telephone calls etc as well as to those who spend time with a child (‘direct’ access). A parent may also have ‘access rights’ where there is no court order at all, for example, where parents agree access arrangements (the ‘no order’ principle; section 1(5) of the Children Act 1989 (as amended)).
4. Having satisfied the requirements of paragraph E-LTRPT.2.4 (a) (i), an appellant must still prove that he/she ‘is taking and intend to continue to take an active role in the child’s upbringing'(paragraph E-LTRPT.2.4 (a) (ii)). Whether he/she will be able to do so will depend upon the evidence rather than the nature of the ‘access rights.’ However, it is likely to be unusual that a person having only ‘indirect’ access rights will be able to satisfy this provision. In some cases, Tribunals may need to examine the reasons why the Family Court has ordered ‘indirect’ rather then ‘direct’ access.

Clive Lane UTJ
[2015] UKUT 225 (IAC)
England and Wales


Updated: 30 December 2021; Ref: scu.547338