At BHT Sussex we are known for our resilience and ability to persevere, despite significant setbacks. This is demonstrated by our Immigration Legal Service, who helped a young man achieve refugee status after a six-year battle. This is Ishaq’s story.

Ishaq grew up in Egypt, where he lived until he was a teenager. Ishaq’s father was arrested and imprisoned because of an association with the Muslim Brotherhood – a banned organisation in Egypt. It did not matter to Egyptian law enforcement whether the association was real or just perceived. The prison he was sent to is infamous for housing political prisoners. Two more of Ishaq’s relatives were also imprisoned there for the same reason.

Whilst in prison, Ishaq’s father died. This led Ishaq to apply for asylum in the UK in 2017, on the basis that he would be at risk of being associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and therefore at risk of imprisonment if he stayed in Egypt.

This is when Ishaq first came to BHT Sussex’s Immigration Legal Service, who represented Ishaq in his application for asylum.

Ishaq was a child when he first claimed asylum, but his appeal went back and forth between different tribunals for years, meaning Ishaq was an adult by the time a decision was reached: the Upper Tribunal did not recognise Ishaq as a refugee.

The Upper Tribunal noted that Ishaq’s father had died in prison, but it did not accept that this has occurred because of an association with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Despite this setback, BHT Sussex’s Immigration Advisors did not give up, and brought Ishaq’s case to the Court of Appeal. He was advised by two of our Immigration Advisors and also represented by barristers from Garden Court Chambers.

The Court of Appeal disagreed with the Upper Tribunal and concluded that they had required too much evidence for this type of case.

Ultimately, this meant that only one conclusion could be drawn: that Ishaq was a refugee.

Through Ishaq’s resilience for over 6 years, and the hard work from our Immigration Advisors, as well as further legal representation, Ishaq can now continue living his life safely in the UK with refugee status.

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