MM (Lebanon) and Others, Regina (on The Applications of) v Secretary of State and Another: SC 22 Feb 2017

Challenge to rules requiring certain minimum levels of income (Minimum Income Requirement – MIR) for allowing entry for non-EEA spouse.
Held: The challenges udder the Human Rights Act to the Rules themselves failed. Nor did any separate issue of discrimination arise under article 14.
However, the appendix with instructions for entry clearance officers considering the situation was inadequate: ‘Rather than treating the best interests of children as a primary consideration, taking account of the factors summarised in Jeunesse, they lay down a highly prescriptive criterion requiring ‘factors . . that can only be alleviated by the presence of the applicant in the UK’, such as support during a major medical procedure, or ‘prevention of abandonment where there is no other family member . . ‘. ‘
and ‘while the rules as such are not open to challenge, there are aspects of the instructions to entry clearance officers which require revision to ensure that the decisions made by them are consistent with their duties under the HRA. In the light of that conclusion, the Secretary of State might wish to consider whether it would be more efficient to revise the rules themselves, to indicate the circumstances in which alternative sources of funding should or might be taken into account, rather than simply to revise the guidance.’
‘The MIR is part of an overall strategy aimed at reducing net migration. Its particular aims are no doubt entirely legitimate: to ensure, so far as practicable, that the couple do not have recourse to welfare benefits and have sufficient resources to be able to play a full part in British life. As accepted by the courts below, those aims are sufficient to justify the interference with, or lack of respect for, the article 8 right . . we would also reject the suggestion that there is no rational connection between those legitimate aims and the particular income threshold chosen. The work of the Migration Advisory Committee is a model of economic rationality. Even though it had to make certain assumptions, it was careful to identify and rationalise these. Making those assumptions, it arrived at an income figure above which the couple would not have any recourse to welfare benefits, including tax credits and housing benefits. That being a legitimate aim, it is also not possible to say that a lesser threshold, and thus a less intrusive measure, should have been adopted. It may, of course, have a disproportionate effect in the particular circumstances of an individual case, but that is not the claim currently before us . . ‘
Lady Hale, Deputy President, Lord Kerr, Lord Wilson, Lord Reed, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lord Hodge
[2017] UKSC 10, [2017] 1 WLR 771, [2017] Imm AR 729, [2017] HRLR 6, [2017] WLR(D) 124, [2017] INLR 575, UKSC 2015/0011
Bailii, Bailii Summary, WLRD, SC, SC Summary, SC Summary Video
Immigration Rules, European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
Citing:
Appeal fromMM (Lebanon) and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another CA 11-Jul-2014
Aikens LJ said: ‘The court would not be entitled to strike down the rule unless satisfied that it was incapable of being operated in a proportionate way and so was inherently unjustified in all or nearly all cases.’ . .
Appeal fromThe Secretary of State for The Home Department v SS (Congo) and Others CA 23-Apr-2015
The court considered the proper approach to be adopted, in light of new Immigration Rules promulgated in July 2012, to applications for leave to enter the United Kingdom by persons who are family members of someone already present here. . .
CitedKA and others (Adequacy of Maintenance) Pakistan IAT 4-Sep-2006
The Tribunal adopted the level of income support as the test of adequate maintenance – at that level it could not be said that the family were not properly maintained but neither should it be contemplated that immigrants would live below that level. . .
CitedAM (Ethiopia) and others v Entry Clearance Officer CA 16-Oct-2008
When applying for entry under a sponsorship arrangement, the three applicable rules disallowed third party support.
Laws LJ said: ‘The immigrant’s article 8 rights will (must be) protected by the Secretary of State and the court whether or not . .
At First InstanceMM and Others v Secretary of State for The Home Department Admn 5-Jul-2013
WLRD When applied to either recognised refugees or British citizens Appendix FM of the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 395), as inserted, which prevented entry clearance to a party to a marriage . .
CitedHuang v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 21-Mar-2007
Appellate Roles – Human Rights – Families Split
The House considered the decision making role of immigration appellate authorities when deciding appeals on Human Rights grounds, against refusal of leave to enter or remain, under section 65. In each case the asylum applicant had had his own . .
CitedAli and Bibi, Regina (on The Applications of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 18-Nov-2015
At the claimants alleged that the rules requiring a foreign spouse or partner of a British citizen or a person settled in this country to pass a test of competence in the English language before coming to live here were an unjustifiable interference . .
CitedAbdulaziz etc v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-May-1985
Three women, all lawfully settled in the UK, had married third-country nationals but, at first, the Secretary of State had refused permission for their husbands to remain with them, or join them, in the UK.
Held: The refusals of permission had . .
CitedBoultif v Switzerland ECHR 2-Aug-2001
The applicant complained under Article 8 that the Swiss authorities had not renewed his residence permit, after which he had been separated from his wife, a Swiss citizen and who could not be expected to follow him to Algeria. Switzerland argued . .
CitedTuquabo-Tekle and Others v The Netherlands ECHR 1-Dec-2005
ECHR Judgment (Merits and Just Satisfaction) – Preliminary objection dismissed (estoppel); Violation of Art. 8; Pecuniary damage – claim dismissed; Non-pecuniary damage – financial award; Costs and expenses . .
CitedRodrigues Da Silva and Hoogkamer v The Netherlands ECHR 31-Jan-2006
A Brazilian mother came to the Netherlands in 1994 and set up home with a Dutch national but not applying for a residence permit. In 1996 they had a daughter who became a Dutch national. In 1997 they split up and the daughter remained with her . .
CitedBegum (otherwise SB), Regina (on the Application of) v Denbigh High School HL 22-Mar-2006
The student, a Muslim wished to wear a full Islamic dress, the jilbab, but this was not consistent with the school’s uniform policy. She complained that this interfered with her right to express her religion.
Held: The school’s appeal . .
CitedUner v The Netherlands ECHR 18-Oct-2006
(Grand Chamber) The court considered the application of article 8 considerations in extradition and similar proceedings, and said: ‘the best interests and well-being of the children, in particular the seriousness of the difficulties which any . .
CitedNeulinger And Shuruk v Switzerland ECHR 6-Jul-2010
(Grand Chamber) The Swiss Court had rejected the claimant mother’s claim, under article 13b of the Hague Convention, that there was a grave risk that returning the child to Israel would lead to physical or psychological harm or otherwise place him . .
CitedNunez v Norway ECHR 28-Jun-2011
Article 8 rights can be sufficient to tip the balance in favour against deportation of an immigrant. . .
CitedQuila and Another, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 12-Oct-2011
Parties challenged the rule allowing the respondent to deny the right to enter or remain here to non EU citizens marrying a person settled and present here where either party was under the age of 21. The aim of the rule was to deter forced . .
CitedIAA And Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 13-Jan-2014
. .
CitedJeunesse v The Netherlands ECHR 3-Oct-2014
(Grand Chamber) Although the applicant had married and had three children while her immigration status in the Netherlands was precarious, there were exceptional circumstances such that a fair balance had not been struck between the competing . .
CitedHesham Ali (Iraq) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 16-Nov-2016
The appellant, an Iraqi national had arrived in 2000 as a child, and stayed unlawfully after failure of his asylum claim. He was convicted twice of drugs offences. On release he was considered a low risk of re-offending. He had been in a serious . .
CitedAhmut v The Netherlands ECHR 28-Nov-1996
The bond between natural parents and their children is a strong indicator of the existence of family life: ‘from the moment of the child’s birth and by the very fact of it, there exists between him and his parents a bond amounting to ‘family life’, . .
CitedSen v The Netherlands ECHR 21-Dec-2001
. .
CitedKonstatinov v The Netherlands ECHR 26-Apr-2007
The applicant, of Roma origin with a troubled and criminal history. The Court considered the minister’s refusal of her request for a residence permit to enable her to live with her husband (entitled to permanent residence since 1988) and their son . .
CitedEB (Kosovo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 25-Jun-2008
The claimant arrived as a child from Kosovo in 1999. He said that the decision after so long, it would breach his human rights now to order his return.
Held: The adjudicator had failed to address the effect of delay. That was a relevant . .
CitedBaiai and others, Regina (on the Application of) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 30-Jul-2008
In order to prevent marriages of convenience in the UK the Secretary of State introduced a scheme under which certain persons subject to immigration control required her written permission to marry and would not receive it unless they were present . .
CitedY v Russia ECHR 4-Dec-2008
The applicants complained about the first applicant’s deportation to China, about his unlawful detention, about the disruption of their family life and about the absence of domestic remedies. They referred to Articles 3, 5, 8 and 13 of the . .
CitedO’Donoghue and Others v United Kingdom ECHR 14-Dec-2010
. .
CitedAlvi, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 18-Jul-2012
The claimant had entered as a student, and then stayed under a work permit. New rules were brought in, and because his occupation as a physiotherapy assistant was not listed, he was not credited with sufficient points for a permit. The Court of . .
CitedZoumbas v Secretary of State for The Home Department SC 27-Nov-2013
The appellant challenged a decision that he did not qualify for asylum or humanitarian protection and that his further representations were not a fresh human rights claim under paragraph 353 of the Immigration Rules. He argued that the return to the . .
CitedSS (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 22-May-2013
Laws LJ’s observed that for a claim under article 8 of the ECHR to prevail, it must be ‘a very strong claim indeed’ . .
CitedEB (Kosovo) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 25-Jun-2008
The claimant arrived as a child from Kosovo in 1999. He said that the decision after so long, it would breach his human rights now to order his return.
Held: The adjudicator had failed to address the effect of delay. That was a relevant . .
CitedAM (Ethiopia) and others v Entry Clearance Officer CA 16-Oct-2008
When applying for entry under a sponsorship arrangement, the three applicable rules disallowed third party support.
Laws LJ said: ‘The immigrant’s article 8 rights will (must be) protected by the Secretary of State and the court whether or not . .
CitedJones v First Tier Tribunal and Another SC 17-Apr-2013
The claimant had been injured when a lorry driver swerved to avoid hitting a man who stood in his path. He said that the deceased’s act of suicide amounted to an offence of violence under the 1861 Act so as to bring his own claim within the 2001 . .
CitedSS (Nigeria) v Secretary of State for The Home Department CA 22-May-2013
Laws LJ’s observed that for a claim under article 8 of the ECHR to prevail, it must be ‘a very strong claim indeed’ . .
CitedMM (Lebanon) and Others, Regina (on The Application of) v Secretary of State for The Home Department and Another CA 11-Jul-2014
Aikens LJ said: ‘The court would not be entitled to strike down the rule unless satisfied that it was incapable of being operated in a proportionate way and so was inherently unjustified in all or nearly all cases.’ . .
CitedThe Secretary of State for The Home Department v SS (Congo) and Others CA 23-Apr-2015
The court considered the proper approach to be adopted, in light of new Immigration Rules promulgated in July 2012, to applications for leave to enter the United Kingdom by persons who are family members of someone already present here. . .
CitedMukarkar v Secretary of State for the Home Department CA 25-Jul-2006
The applicant, a Yemeni citizen, obtained entry clearance as a visitor by deception and then unsuccessfully sought leave to remain as a dependent relative of his many children settled here. He had numerous ailments and his health was continuing to . .
CitedMahad (Previously referred to as AM) (Ethiopia) v Entry Clearance Officer SC 16-Dec-2009
The claimants each sought entry to be with members of their family already settled here. The Court was asked whether the new Immigration Rules imposed a requirement which permitted third party support by someone other than the nominated sponsor.
Updated: 10 February 2021; Ref: scu.575312