The answer to this is that in addition to the immigration rules, the Secretary of State has a residual power to exervise discretion in favour of applicants. This can happen even in cases where the applicant does not satisfy criteria within the immigration rules. The factors which can be considered to make such a grant are documented by the SSHD as guidance. If you feel that your circumstances do not fit the rules but there is something unusual or compelling, it would be advisable for you to seek assessment of your circumstances. lawson Hunte provide a free 20 minute options only clinic available on the First Friday of each month where you can discuss your circumstances with an advisor in confidence and free of charge. Register on our website for an appointment or alternatively, an initial consultation with us, this is set at a nominal charge of £60.00.