The decision

Upper Tribunal
(Immigration and Asylum Chamber) Appeal Number: OA 07267 2012


Heard at Field House
Determination Promulgated
On 29 May 2013
On 10 June 2013





Fataha Begum

For the Appellant: Mr M Choudhury of Masud & Co
For the Respondent: Mr T Melvin, Senior Home Office Presenting Officer
1. This is an appeal by a citizen of Bangladesh born in 1988 against a decision of the First-tier Tribunal dismissing her appeal against a decision of the respondent refusing her entry clearance to the United Kingdom as a wife. There were three things that concerned the respondent. The appellant had not shown that she had sufficient command of the English language in accordance with the Rules, she had not shown that she would be accommodated in accordance with the Rules and she had not shown that she would be maintained in accordance with the Rules.
2. The First-tier Tribunal Judge was satisfied that the appellant had shown she would be maintained as the Rules required.
3. The First-tier Tribunal Judge was not satisfied that the appellant had shown that she had sufficient command of the English language but it is clear that this finding arose from a mistake on the part of the judge who had two similar certificates before her showing the appellant’s ability both to hear and to speak the English language. I find it at least probably that the First-tier Tribunal Judge did not appreciate that she had two different certificates. What is quite plain, as has been fairly point out by Mr Melvin, is that there was good evidence before the Entry Clearance Officer and the First-tier Tribunal that the appellant was able to listen and speak as required, but for reasons that are not entirely clear neither the Entry Clearance Officer nor the First-tier Tribunal Judge were satisfied about both points. The evidence suggests that they should have been and I am satisfied that that finding on the part of the First-tier Tribunal Judge was wrong and I substitute a decision that the appellant does satisfy the requirements of the Rules relating to her language skills.
4. The appellant’s ability to satisfy the requirements about accommodation is a little less clear. Although the point was not taken in the grounds, there is no proper finding by the First-tier Tribunal Judge concerning whether the appellant would be accommodated satisfactorily. There is a finding that the sponsor was an unsatisfactory witness. However, when the First-tier Tribunal Judge found that the evidence of the sponsor about maintenance was unsatisfactory she looked at all the evidence before her including documentary evidence which satisfied her that the evidence about maintenance was in fact right, although the sponsor’s contribution to it was not good. If she had applied similar logic to issues relating to accommodation she would have allowed the appeal on this point because there is independent evidence that there is sufficient accommodation available at the chosen address. It is the place where the sponsor presently resides, it has been examined by a surveyor and said to be a house in good condition with sufficient room for the appellant to live there too. The issue is whether it is believable that accommodation would be available on a rather informal basis. It is always best if there is good, clear documentary evidence. Informal arrangements between family members can be perfectly good in law but they are sometimes harder to prove and it is unhelpful if people misguidedly impose over an informal relationship a formal gloss that is not there. It can create difficulties and that may be what has happened here.
5. Stepping back and looking at the case dispassionately it seems to me entirely reasonable that the person accommodating the sponsor would be prepared to accommodate his wife under similar circumstances. There is no good reason to doubt that. The other parts of the appeal have been established and I think the proper decision is to allow the appeal.
6. The First-tier Tribunal Judge erred in law in two respects. She made an irrational decision concerning the appellant’s ability to speak the English language and she failed to make a proper reasoned decision on the availability of suitable accommodation. I set aside her decision and I substitute a decision allowing the appeal for the reasons given.
The decision of the First-tier Tribunal is set aside and this appeal is allowed


Jonathan Perkins
Judge of the Upper Tribunal

Dated 10 June 2013