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‘Pagan’ woman wins immigration appeal after denying polygamy | Immigration Matters

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A pagan woman who lives with her lover and his wife, but denies it is a polygamous arrangement, has won a ‘right to family life’ immigration case.

Emily DiSanto’s legal victory means she can stay in the UK. The Government disagrees with the ruling and has vowed to overhaul the rules on immigration.

Miss DiSanto was originally refused permission to remain in the UK because the UK does not recognise polygamy, or arrangements that are essentially the same thing.

However, the polygamy argument was later dropped from the immigration case.

The married pair claim they are not permitted to divorce under their pagan beliefs. The man, his wife and his lover live together in one home.

Both women have had children with the man, and the court ruled that Miss DiSanto should be allowed to stay for the sake of the children.

The UK Government disagrees with the ruling and it criticised the use of the Article of the European Convention on Human Rights which was behind the decision.

A Home Office spokesman said: “We are disappointed by the court’s decision in this case.

“For too long Article 8 has been used to place the family rights of immigration offenders above the rights of the British public.

“This is why we will change the immigration rules to reinforce the public interest in seeing those who have breached our immigration laws removed from this country.” Source: The Christian Institute.

Speaking at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg this week, British Prime Minister David Cameron warned that the concept of human rights was being “distorted” and “discredited” by controversial decisions in Europe.

In December 2011 the UK government brought in new appeal charges for some asylum, immigration and visa appeals and introduced new procedures for submitting appeals against refusals.

Fees of £80 for a ‘paper consideration’, a decision made by an Immigration Judge on papers without a hearing, and £140 for a full oral hearing at a tribunal will be applied to appeals against decisions taken on or after 19 December 2011.

The new fees should not deter people who want to refuse immigration decisions which they feel are genuinely unfair or have not followed the Immigration Rules. However, it should cut the thousands ‘let’s have a go anyway’ appeals which have absolutely no hope of succeeding and no genuine grounds and merely clog up the system and cost millions of pounds.

Professional immigration appeals specialists will only take on appeals which have a fair chance of succeeding. OISC registered Level 3 Immigration Advisers such as Bison UK will not submit appeals unless there are grounds of appeal and they feel there is a good chance of overturning the refusal decision.

Whilst you can submit your own appeal without using an adviser or lawyer, applicants should consider taking advice before firing off an appeal form, as this will later be taken into account as part of your case. Most advisers will offer an initial consultation for a small fee where you can get professional advice on your case for you submit your appeal.

Oral appeals, which are heard before an independent Immigration Judge at a full hearing in the First-tier Tribunal, usually have a greater chance of success than an ‘on papers’ appeal, especially if the form is poorly drafted.

At a hearing you, or your legal representative, will have the opportunity to submit a ‘bundle’ outlining your case and argue your case before a Judge.

See also:

New fees for immigration and asylum appeals

Human Rights distorted, British PM warns the Council of Europe, as many in the UK call for withdrawal from ECHR

Judge attacks immigration ‘merry-go-round’ after Pakistani man made 16 applications to remain in UK at a cost of £250,000 to taxpayer

Student wins article 8 human rights appeal after claiming he played cricket with friends

Student allowed by Immigration Judge to remain in UK despite buying a fake English certificate

‘Pet cat Human Rights Appeal’ overstaying student was a shoplifter

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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