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Immigration

Garden Court’s Immigration Team is recognised as the pre-eminent set of barristers in the UK specialising in immigration law. We are the only set of barristers awarded the highest ‘Band 1’ status by the independent Chambers Bar Guide rankings. We handle cases with unrivalled levels of expertise.

We know the immigration system inside-out and have covered every kind of situation. Our barristers have appeared in many of the cases that have shaped UK immigration law, and we continue to write the leading textbooks on immigration and asylum.

Our team of specialist barristers are supported by clerks with expert knowledge of:

  • Senior barristers who are well known in the immigration Tribunal system and have very extensive legal experience
  • Experienced and knowledgeable junior barristers who can handle cases more cost-effectively, and who have the expertise of senior colleagues to draw on

Our barristers understand the way that government decision-makers and judges think, and are thus very well-placed to advise on how best to present a case from the earliest stages.

How we can help

  • Provide the very best strategic advice on the most relevant evidence and the strongest arguments to support any kind of application to the Home Office or Entry Clearance Officer – the earlier counsel comes on board, the more value they can add
  • Give realistic guidance on your options when your last application has failed (including whether a further application or a legal challenge to the last refusal makes most sense)
  • Ensure that Court and Tribunal challenges are based on the latest legal thinking and are backed by the best available evidence

Barristers can add value to the legal advice you offer your client beyond acting as advocates. Sometimes the most useful work we do is to offer insight into a client’s options well before any litigation takes place. Whatever stage a case has reached, it is always useful to get another view.

Our barristers can:

  • Help to plot a strategic solution to a client’s needs, whether that involves making a further better evidenced application or pursuing another immigration route altogether
  • Advise on the required evidence and legal arguments available in administrative review applications, appeals or judicial review claims: the sooner counsel comes on board, the earlier they can start making a real difference
  • Ensure that an application is structured in the best way possible to generate an appeal if refused

Some administrative review applications are straightforward and solicitors may well be comfortable with drafting themselves.

However, the more complicated the legal and evidential issues, the more likely it is that counsel may add value, particularly where it is likely that the application is just a prelude to a judicial review claim.

Our counsel are experts at:

  • Analysing the Rules and Guidance to spot arguable errors
  • Understanding the nuances of evidential flexibility found in Rule 245AA addressing missing documents and information
  • Running arguments based on fairness when things have gone wrong at the interview stage
  • Drafting persuasive grounds of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, which may result in concessions from Entry Clearance Managers or senior Home Office staff before a case comes to court
  • Advising on precisely what evidence is needed, looking over draft witness statements and checking supporting documents
  • Drafting skeleton arguments and providing the very highest quality of advocacy at appeal hearings
  • Drafting grounds in order to obtain permission to appeal to the Upper Tribunal against First-tier Tribunal decisions and then providing expert representation at the subsequent hearings
  • Litigating in judicial reviews – we can add value at every stage, from drafting the original Pre Action Protocol letters to providing the concise and well-argued grounds that are vital to steer a judicial review application to a realistic conclusion.
  • We act in every kind of challenge, including nationality refusals, administrative review refusals, challenges to “clearly unfounded” certificates, refusals to recognise fresh claims, and unlawful detention claims

Examples of our casework

  • Strengthening the client’s case by pointing those instructing towards the best possible country evidence to support an asylum claim, advising on expert reports and advising on witness statements
  • Persuading judges to allow appeals by our knowledge of the latest asylum and international protection case law
  • Preventing deportation by putting together a watertight case on links to the UK
  • Visit our Asylum Claims page for more details

Overturning refusals based on dishonesty allegations, such as:

  • Refusals of settlement because the Home Office do not accept the claimed earnings are genuine, including where there are inconsistencies between earnings shown on tax returns and immigration applications
  • Accusations of cheating in English language tests
  • Omissions in application forms
  • Advising on the best way for a British citizen to lawfully move abroad for a period and return in the future ensuring residence rights in European Union law for their here (ie Surinder Singh cases)
  • Obtaining permanent residence for European Economic Area (EEA) nationals with complex histories of work, self-sufficiency and study
  • Preventing the expulsion of EEA nationals accused of involvement with marriages of convenience or abuse of EEA rights
  • Winning appeals involving proof of continuous residence and exercise of Treaty Rights throughout a person’s stay in the UK
  • Advising on the likely consequences of the UK’s departure from the European Union
  • Advising on the evidence which is required to establish continuous lawful residence
  • Obtaining indefinite leave to remain by demonstrating that the continuous residence period had been miscalculated by the decision-maker
  • Demonstrating the strength of a person’s UK connections based on a combination of personal and professional ties
  • Demonstrating that there really were “insurmountable obstacles” to relocation abroad for a loving couple whose “partner” application had been refused
  • Showing that it would be unreasonable for the parents of a British citizen child to have to leave the country
  • Making further representations that were accepted as a fresh human rights claim, generating a further right of appeal
  • Overturning “clearly unfounded” certificates to ensure a right of appeal before an independent immigration judge
  • Getting refusals overturned for much-loved family members who have been repeatedly denied visit visas
  • Obtaining a visa for an elderly adult dependent relative with complicated care needs that could not be met in their country of origin

Our barristers can:

  • Advise on the complicated web of Rules and Guidance that govern applications to make sure everything is in order
  • Cast an eye over the evidence which it is proposed to rely on
  • Analyse the client’s route to indefinite leave to remain having regard to the need for continuous lawful residence
  • See whether a refusal can be undermined having regard to missing documents, evidential flexibility, and common law principles of fairness
  • Help advise on business plans and other aspects of an Entrepreneur application – and go on to fight the client’s corner during administrative and judicial review challenges
  • Advise on the best strategy where a Sponsor’s licence is under threat: whether the client is facing an audit, or had the licence suspended or revoked. Remember: the sooner we come on board and start advising, the higher the chances of success
  • Give realistic advice on the best approach to take to a Civil Penalty Notice

Meet our immigration barristers

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