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Home Office ordered to pay for guest house accommodation pending provision of support under section 98/95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. (8 April 2021)

Date: 08/04/2021
Duncan Lewis, Main Solicitors, Home Office ordered to pay for guest house accommodation pending provision of support under section 98/95 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.

RK is a Pakistani national who was a victim of forced marriage in Pakistan. She had fled to the UK as a student where she was able to get a divorce and start a new life. She remarried in the UK and by 2016 had two daughters with her British husband.

In 2018, RK was convicted for non-accidental injury to her child. She denies purposefully inflicting injury to her daughter and maintains that this was an accidental injury sustained when she fell down the stairs whilst holding her new born daughter. She was sentenced to 38 months in prison. Her husband received a longer custodial sentence and the children were adopted.

In September 2019, the Home Office commenced deportation proceedings which is when we first became aware of RK. A deportation order was issued following the refusal of her asylum claim and she was subsequently detained under immigration powers in 2020. We applied for and were able to obtain FTT bail in principle subject to release to accommodation approved by the National Probation Service. The Claimant applied for s95 support which was unfortunately refused as the Home Office did not consider her to be destitute as she had saved £1000 whilst in prison which she held in her prison account at the time of the application.

RK thus had to use these funds to support herself. She paid for accommodation at a guest house on her release from prison and also used the money to cover her other basic essential needs. She soon burnt through her cash reserves and in mid-March 2021 applied once again for Section 95 support on the basis that she would be destitute in 14 days’ time. The Home Office failed to process her application promptly stating in pre-action correspondence that they were not in possession of the application despite Migrant Help having been sent the application as is the prescribed method of applying for such support. By 26 March 2021, RK’s funds had depleted to a point where she did not have any funds left to pay for her accommodation at the guest house and faced street homelessness and destitution.

We lodged judicial review proceedings challenging the Home Office’s failure to provide RK with section 98 accommodation and support pending the consideration of her section 95 application. By order of Hon. Justice Mostyn our application for interim relief was granted and the Home Office were ordered to pay the Claimant’s accommodation costs at the guest house as well as provision of the standard weekly subsistence rate for asylum support pending provision of section 98/95 support. The Home Office provided RK with subsistence payments and paid for RK’s guest house accommodation until 31 March 2021 when she was moved to section 95 accommodation.

RK is represented by public law trainee solicitor Sagar Shah of the Leicester Office. Counsel for the case is Philip Nathan of Landmark Chambers.

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