Case details

Rhuppiah (Appellant) v Secretary of State for the Home Department (Respondent)

Case ID: UKSC 2017/0075

Case summary

  1. The meaning of precarious in s.117B(5) of the Nationality Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 (the "2002 Act");
  2. the weight to be given to private life established at a time when the appellant’s immigration status was precarious when conducting the balancing exercise under art.8; and
  3. the weight to be given to financial independence and proficiency in English when conducting the balancing exercise under art.8.

The appellant is a Tanzanian national who was in the UK from 1997 to 2010 on various grants of leave to remain as a student. Since 2010 she has been in the UK unlawfully. She lives with and cares for a friend, Ms Charles, who has ulcerative colitis. Her brother, sister-in-law and niece also live in the UK. Her application for leave to remain was rejected by the respondent. The appellant appealed on the basis that she should be granted leave to remain outside the rules on the basis of her private life under art.8 ECHR. Applying Part 5A of the 2002 Act, the First-tier Tribunal held that little weight should be given to her private life with Ms Charles and her niece as it was established whilst her immigration status was precarious. It also held that fluency in English and financial independence were neutral factors in the art.8 balancing exercise and that in any event she was not financially independent as she relied on Ms Charles and her father for lodging and maintenance respectively.

Judgment appealed

[2016] EWCA Civ 803



Mercy Charles Rhuppiah


Secretary of State for the Home Department



Lord Wilson, Lord Carnwath, Lord Hughes, Lady Black, Lord Lloyd-Jones

Hearing start date

10 Jul 2018

Hearing finish date

10 Jul 2018

Watch hearing
10 Jul 2018 Morning session Afternoon session