The withdrawal in 2008 of the UK’s immigration and nationality reservation from the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 2003 and the coming into force of section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 have brought new impetus to securing that the best interests of children are given due weight in decisions taken that affect them. Recent Senior Court judgments have reiterated the importance of giving voice in so far as possible to the views of the child and making decisions that give prominence to their well-being.

Many of the immigration rules make specific provision in relation to children and those together with Article 8 ECHR considerations may be raised on applications or representations to the Secretary of State or on any remedy that lies against an adverse decision that affects the interests of a child. In addition, where the child is a British citizen and or an EU national, their interests may well necessitate their third country national (non-EU) parents being granted a right of residence in the UK so as not to deprive them of the genuine enjoyment of the substance of the rights attaching to their citizenship status.

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