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Tribunal Appeal - Legitimate Expectation and Section 120 Notice

On 14 January 2022, we received an email from the tribunal that the Home Office (Secretary of State) has withdrawn its refusal decision for granting leave to remain (visa) to our client. Our client had arrived in the UK in 2016 on a spouse visa. The requirement of a level A2 English certificate for partner visa extension applications came into force in May 2017. Our client was not aware of this requirement and made an application for an extension of her spouse visa in 2019 without a level A2 English certificate which was granted. Even after having completed 5 years in the UK on a five year route, she applied in 2021 for an extension of her spouse visa as her English was not good to pass a level B1 English test and the life in the UK test which are requirements for indefinite leave to remain. Her application for an extension was refused on the sole ground that she had not passed the level A2 English test. Interestingly, our client had not provided the level A2 English certificate even during her extension application in 2019 which was granted. In her appeal to the First-tier Tribunal, we raised two grounds. Firstly, the Home Office is bound by the principle of legitimate expectation as our client had a legitimate expectation that she will not be required to take the level A2 English Language test for her leave to remain extension application in 2021 as her previous leave to remain extension was allowed in 2019. Just after having received the refusal decision, our client took the level A2 English test and passed it. Immediately thereafter, we had submitted to the Home Office response to 120 notice under the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002. So, our second ground was that the Secretary of State should give her consent (required under section 120 notice of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 ) to the tribunal to deal with the new ground as she had allowed our client's previous application without requiring the level A2 English qualification. After reviewing our bundle and response to the section 120 notice, the Secretary of State withdrew the refusal decision so that leave may be granted to our client.