• Psychological dependence

  • Background

    In this case our client has been included on his father’s visa application as a dependant child.  As he was fifteen years old at the time the application was made this would not normally have been a problem. However, by the time Immigration made a decision on the visa application our client was well over eighteen years old.  Immigration decided that he was no longer a dependant of his father and it refused his visa application.

    Our involvement

    We argued that due to the fact that our client was still in education and still being supported both financially and psychologically by his father, he should still be considered a dependant.  There were two main aspects to our argument.  The first point was with regard to the technical meaning of each relevant word in the Migration Regulations.  We successfully presented a technically complex case in which the legal meanings of the terms wholly and substantially and dependant were argued in great detail.  In addition to our technical arguments we also submitted points about the cultural and psychological aspects of dependency and how they related to the specific facts in our client’s case.  The Tribunal member refers to our submissions on this point, in an extract from his determination, below:

    Mr Slater submits that the cultural factors in this case support a conclusion that the secondary visa applicant is substantially psychologically dependent upon his parents.  Again, statements made by Justice Heerey were cited to support this contention.  The Tribunal consider that these arguments are compelling and finds that, on the evidence before it, the secondary visa applicant is substantially psychologically dependent upon his father, the primary visa applicant.

    Through careful preparation, research and well thought out submissions we were able to persuade the Tribunal to look past the bare bones of the regulations and to consider the meaning behind the relevant phrases.  We believe that it was our technical application of the law and our attention to detail that made the vital difference in winning this case.