The decision

PA (Student’s family: third-party support?) Bangladesh [2008] UKAIT 00016



Heard at: Field House Date of Hearing: 5 February 2008


Mr C M G Ockelton, Deputy President of the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal
Senior Immigration Judge Latter




For the Appellant: Mr. M. K Noor, Legal Representative of Noor Law Associates
For the Respondent: Mr. L. Tarlow, Home Office Presenting Officer, Treasury Solicitor

The maintenance requirements of para 76 of the Immigration Rules are not met by the provision of maintenance by a third party.


1. The Appellant is a citizen of Bangladesh. She appealed to the Tribunal against the decision of the Respondent Entry Clearance Officer on 23 January 2007 refusing her entry clearance to the United Kingdom as the spouse of her husband who is a student here. The Immigration Judge dismissed the appeal. The Appellant sought and obtained an order for reconsideration. Thus the matter comes before us.

2. The Immigration Judge found as a fact that the appellant’s maintenance in the United Kingdom was to be entirely supported by funds provided by her husband’s uncle, who, he also found as a fact, would be well able to provide that support. The Immigration Judge dismissed the appeal because he held that, on the true construction of para 76 of the Statement of Changes in the Immigration Rules HC 395, which applied to this appeal, the appellant was required to show, not that she had access to third party support, but that she could maintain herself.

3. The grounds for reconsideration assert that that was an incorrect interpretation of para 76. In support of them, Mr. Noor, who appears for the appellant today, has argued that although in para 281, which refers to the admission of a spouse of a person settled here, there is a requirement that the parties will be able to maintain themselves adequately without recourse to public funds, there is in para 57, which relates to students as principal applicants or appellants, merely a requirement that the applicant be “able to meet the costs of his course and accommodation and the maintenance of himself and any dependents”.

4. Mr. Noor recognises that paragraph 281 was interpreted by the Tribunal in AM [2007] UKAIT 58 in a sense contrary to that for which he contends under para 76. But he says that para 281 raises different questions; para 281 relates to a person who is coming to the United Kingdom in principle permanently whereas para 76 relates to a person who is coming for temporary purposes, and temporary purposes regulated indeed by the length that someone else, that is to say the principal - the student will be here. He says that it is more logical to read paragraph 76 in a way that would bring its meaning in line with that of para 57, which relates to the principal, rather than in line with para 281 which relates to the spouses of those who are settled here.

5. We do not accept that argument. The first reason is that the draftsman of the Immigration Rules has clearly chosen a different formulation of the requirements for maintenance in para 76 from that chosen for para 57. It seems to us that a person who comes as a student may well have the benefit of third party support for himself. It may be a government grant, it may be a scholarship or it may be parents or relatives. The considerations applying to a spouse are different and the draftsman of the Rules has chosen for the spouse the very same formulation as he chose for paragraph 281. In those circumstances it seems to us simply impossible, as a matter of construction, to read para 76 differently from para 281 which has the same words, but in the same way as para 57 which has different words.

6. In any event, as it appears to us there is no reason why the Secretary of State should not have a regime that reflects the fact that a student is coming for studies, but that if he is to be accompanied by his family, the family members who are not themselves coming as students should meet requirements analogous to those of any other family member coming to the United Kingdom for a relatively long period of time.

7. For those reasons it appears to us that the Immigration Judge was right to apply the construction adumbrated in AM to para 76(iv) of the Immigration Rules. He made no material error of law and his determination must therefore stand.