This is an appeal against a decision of the Court of Appeal (Laws, Rix and Wilson LJJ, [2008] EWCA Civ 1420) dismissing the claimant’s appeal against a decision of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal refusing her application for entry clearance.  The claimants are the wife and children of Israr Naimi (“the Sponsor”) who had come to the UK in 1999 and had been granted refugee status and indefinite leave to remain in 2001 and citizenship in 2005.  The claimants’ applications were rejected under the immigration rules and under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

The application had been refused on the basis that the claimants could not meet the accommodation and maintenance requirements imposed by para.281 and para.297 of HC 395.  The issue was whether she had to satisfy the requirements of these rules or whether the case should be considered under the rules dealing with applications to join relatives in this country who had been granted asylum notably 352A (spouses and civil partners) and 352D (children) of HC 395. 

The distinction between the two sets of rules was important because a person entitled to apply under para.352A or para.352D did not have to meet the requirements concerning maintenance and accommodation imposed by para.281 and para.297.   The Court of Appeal held that the language of para.352A and para.352D was entirely clear: those paragraphs only applied in cases where the sponsor was currently a recognised refugee [25].   They went on to hold that refugee who thereafter obtained the citizenship of his host country lost his refugee status as a result of the clear words of Artice 1C(3) of the Refugee Convention [29].   It was said that this conclusion was in line with the scope and purpose of the law’s protection of refugees and was automatic. In relation to the claim under Article 8, the case had been considered on the correct basis.  The immigration judge had concluded that the family as a whole could continue family life in Pakistan.

The Court’s Case Details identify three issues arising on the appeal as follows:

(1)  What is the correct interpretation of paragraphs 352A and 352D of the immigration rules?

(2)   Was the Court of Appeal correct to conclude that, before the immigration rules implementing Council Directives 2004/83/EC and 2005/85/EC came into force, Article 1C(3) of the 1951 UN Convention on the Status of Refugees operated automatically to cause the Sponsor’s refugee status to lapse upon his acquisition of UK citizenship?

(3)  Was the Court of Appeal correct to uphold the Immigration Judge’s determination regarding Article 8 of the ECHR?