Judge overturns Minister’s refusal of short-stay visa for girl (16) to visit parents

Minister seemed to look adversely on the fact that the family are poor, the judge said

The judge said the Minister’s decision ‘was seriously deficient’ and he quashed it. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

The judge said the Minister’s decision ‘was seriously deficient’ and he quashed it. Photograph: Dave Meehan/The Irish Times

 

The High Court has ordered the Minister for Justice and Equality to reconsider her refusal to grant a 16-year-old girl a short-stay visit so she can come and see her parents and two siblings here.

The girl lives with her grandmother in a country outside the EU. Her parents arrived here and sought asylum here in 2008 and 2011 but were refused.

The parents were subsequently granted temporary permission to remain in the State as an exceptional measure. One of the conditions of that temporary status was it did not confer any entitlement or expectation on any other person, whether related to them or not, to enter or remain in the State.

In the refusal to grant the girl a short-stay visa, the Minister for Justice was not satisfied the girl and her parents had demonstrated sufficient evidence of strong obligation to return to her home country where the granting of the visit may result in a cost to public funds and public resources.

The girl, through her father, brought judicial review proceedings against the Minister who opposed them.

In his judgment sending the decision back for fresh consideration, Mr Justice Barrett said the court did not see how a past history, where the girl was previously refused a short-stay visa, could be relied on to support the Minister’s argument that another such application cannot be made.

In relying on letters in support of the visa application, including from the grandmother, the Minister seemed to look adversely on the fact that the family are poor, the judge said.

But as there is no sign of the family becoming rich, the effect of this proposition is that the daughter will never be allowed to visit for so long as they are poor, he said.

He said the Minister’s decision “was seriously deficient” and he quashed it.