A Nigerian man who used deception in gaining entry to Northern Ireland was unlawfully detained as an illegal entrant, the Court of Appeal ruled yesterday.
Senior judges backed Emen Bassey's case that he was entitled to enter the UK because his youngest daughter was born in Belfast.
They quashed an Immigration Service decision to remove him and declared that he was entitled to damages for wrongful detention.
Mr Bassey was held for nine days in 2007 before being granted bail.
He and his Nigerian wife had applied for visitors' visas, and he claimed the intention was to be in the UK for a week's vacation.
However, his luggage contained application forms for a school in Belfast, and, when questioned, he stated he wanted his three children to be educated there.
Immigration officers decided he was an illegal entrant who failed to disclose the real purpose of his visit.
Mr Bassey challenged their decision, relying on the Irish nationality of his daughter to show she was entitled to enter as a European Union citizen.