“It is very depressing. The law has been clear for the best part of 50 years ………It should go without saying, but I fear there is need to spell out what ought to be obvious ……So far as I am aware, none of these principles have ever been challenged or doubted. Is it too much to demand that people pay more attention to them?”, so queried the President of the Family Division in apparent exasperation in The Secretary of State for the Home Department v GD (Ghana) (Rev 1)  EWCA Civ 1126 (25 July 2017). This was said during the course of seeking to reiterate the effect of family court orders in deportation and removal cases.
The conjoined appeals in Ahmed had their origins in a series of decisions made by the Secretary of State proposing to deprive the Appellants of their British citizenship under section 40(2) of the British Nationality Act 1981. Within the course of the appeals however, the Upper Tribunal had to consider the content of the duty owed by the Secretary of State under section 55(1) of the 2009 Act in the Appellant’s cases.
Failed asylum seekers and those without leave to remain in the UK, may feel that they have no option but to leave the UK, where there seems no way of regularising their stay.
“Home Is Best”, they say, however, prior to taking such steps, it is worth while pausing to review circumstances, as adult claimants or children without leave in the UK have several options open to them having regard to several provisions of UK law, which they can appropriately avail themselves in order to seek to regularise their stay in the UK.
The 10–year parent route provides a basis on which leave to remain can be granted to a parent who has responsibility for or access to their child following the breakdown of their relationship with the child’s other parent.
This route is for single parents who:
have sole parental responsibility for their child; or
are the parent with whom the child normally lives, rather than the child’s other parent (who is British or settled); or
do not live with the child (who instead lives with a British or settled parent or carer), but they have direct access in person to the child, as agreed with the parent or carer with whom the child normally lives, or as ordered by a court in the UK.
The parent route is therefore not for couples with a child together who are in a genuine and subsisting relationship. An applicant can only apply for the parent route if they are not eligible to apply for the partner route.
So what can parents with an irregular immigration status do where they have a child born in the UK who is a British citizen?
The Court of Appeal is clearly at pains to ensure that both tiers of the Tribunal get the law right when considering appeals in relation to foreign national criminals. As acknowledged in the recent case of The Secretary of State for the Home Department v AJ (Zimbabwe)  EWCA Civ 1012, “There has been a plethora of cases which have come to this court concerning the application of article 8 to foreign criminals and in particular seeking to clarify the scope of the residual “exceptional circumstances” concept. The principles of law are well established and not in dispute in these appeals and therefore I will do no more than summarise the effect of the leading authorities”.
Apart from reiterating the relevant principles, the Court of Appeal also emphasized that the general framework of Strasbourg law as established in cases such as Maslov cannot simply be slavishly applied as this fails to view the Article 8 assessment through the lens of the Immigration Rules and will cause Tribunals to go astray, as occurred in AJ (Zimbabwe).