Belfast Telegraph

Chinese man who fears being sterilised if sent home, wins High Court battle in bid to remain in Northern Ireland

Belfast High Court.
Belfast High Court.

By Alan Erwin

A man who fears being sterilised if forced back to his native China has won a High Court battle in his ongoing attempts to remain with his wife and children in Northern Ireland.

The 32-year-old, who cannot be identified, secured a declaration that the Home Office unlawfully failed to determine a claim that his whole family should be allowed to stay in the United Kingdom.

Born in the Fujian Province, the man stated that he fled China in 2008 due to concerns about being persecuted over his membership of an unauthorised Christian church.

In 2014 he claimed asylum in the UK for the first time after being arrested for working unlawfully in Chinese restaurants.

Since then the man's wife, also a Chinese national, has given birth to two children.

As part of his bid to secure asylum the man claimed: "I am fearful, if returned to China, that either myself or my wife would be forced into being sterilised in order to prevent us from having any more children.

"We would also be heavily fined... and we have no means of paying any financial penalty."

He went on to state that by 2015 all of the family's asylum claims were rejected.

However, in September 2018 the Secretary of State granted leave for his wife and children to remain in the UK.

The decision made no mention of the man, who was instead informed that his asylum request was being treated separately.

His lawyers contended that, based on his children having resided in the UK since birth, all members of the family should be allowed to remain under immigration rules and European human rights law.

Ruling on the man's judicial review challenge, Mr Justice McCloskey said assertions that the man still has an outstanding asylum claim was "fundamentally misconceived".

The judge said he was entitled to a declaration that the Home Office failed to determine the further application for all family members to be permitted to stay.

He ordered that the issue must be determined within an eight-week period.

Mr Justice McCloskey held that by failing to determine the applicant's application, the Secretary of State's decision maker had contravened the Borders, Citizen and Immigration Act 2009, and the human rights of all family members.

He confirmed: "This challenge must succeed accordingly."

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