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Reasons and Brexit Impact Explained

EEA Family Permits/Residence Cards Refused? Reasons and Brexit Impact Explained

Jun 07, 2018
Last Updated on May 23, 2024

EEA Family Permits and/or Residence cards refused for many EEA family and extended family members. On 23rd June 2016, Britain was turned upside down. In a turn of events few predicted, the EU Referendum delivered a result that sent the United Kingdom down the long (so-far) torturous path of extracting itself from the European Union.

“Brexit means Brexit” announced Theresa May, as she took over the reins of Prime Minister from a shell-shocked David Cameron, who many believe will be mainly remembered for unleashing the most single-minded path of economic self-destruction a country has ever embarked on.

For many non-EEA family members living in the UK, or wishing to come into the country, Brexit has resulted in fear and uncertainty. It is possible that with the help of experienced immigration lawyers, if a refusal is received, the decision can be challenged and reversed for genuine applicants.

Client Says, “I know A Y & J SOLICITORS for many years now and instructed them for various UK immigration matters. But specially I like to talk & thank about my mother’s latest EEA residence permit under ‘Surinder Singh’ route that has been approved in the ‘First instance’.It was a very complex immigration application under EU regulation but with the help of A Y & J SOLICITORS and team, this became a dream come true.

It was a very complex immigration application under EU regulation but with the help of A Y & J SOLICITORS and team, this became a dream come true.

I always received a full assurance and a complete hand holding support throughout the application process. I am united with my mother in the UK with the top technical knowledge of EU regulation, relentless efforts and honest – humble approach of A Y & J SOLICITORS. Saying ‘Thank you’ won’t be enough here, having my mother with me in the UK is a lot more than any words I describe my appreciation with. I highly recommend A Y & J SOLICITORS to anyone who is looking for professional support in relation to UK immigration including EU regulation / Surinder Singh route.”

The Brexit vote has led thousands of non-EEA family members residing in the UK to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card. Non-EEA family members of EU citizens entering the UK are also applying for EEA Family Permits and later Residence Cards, something which they are not required to do as they can, in theory, obtain entry-clearance at the border.

Worryingly, despite knowing (or having ought to have known) that a vote for Brexit would lead to a swell of applications for EEA Family Permits, Residence Cards, Permanent Residence Cards and, if people met the eligibility requirements, British Citizenship, the process of issuing EEA Permanent Residence Cards especially, has been a disaster.

Around 28% of EEA Permanent Residence Card applications are refused.  EEA Family members have been threatened with removal and many have been denied Family Permits/Residence Cards for flimsy reasons. Applicants left with an option to appeal the decision.

Whether you have come into the country via the Surinder Singh route, or are exercising your ‘Zambrano’ right or derivative right to remain in the UK, having an EEA Family Permit/Residence Card or EEA Permanent Residence Card refused can result in shattered families and broken dreams.

Reasons for EEA Family Permits/Residence Cards or EEA Permanent Residence Card refusals include:

Mistakes on the Application Form and/or not Submitting the Correct Documentation

The application for an EEA Family Permit or Residence Card are often refused because forms are not filled in correctly, the EEA Permanent Residence Card application form is a whopping 85-pages long.

Getting the application right is crucial. To acquire a Family Permit or Residence Card as the spouse or civil partner of the EEA national, you must show:

  • your EEA spouse or partner is exercising their Treaty rights in the UK as an employee, self-employed person, student, or self-sufficient person;
  • your marriage is one that is recognised in the UK (generally if it is a legal marriage in another country it will be recognised; however, some tribal marriages may not be);
  • you intend to live together in the UK.

In addition to filling in the form correctly, sending in the right supporting documentation is crucial as failure to do this can result in refusal. Those who have the best chance of making a successful application call on the help of an experienced immigration lawyer to assist them with collating the required documentation and filling in the form correctly.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance

Family members of EEA nationals exercising their Treaty rights in the UK whether employed, self-employed, studying, or economically self-sufficient can apply for a Permanent Residence Card after being in the UK for five years. This is an essential step if you ultimately wish to be granted British Citizenship.

To be granted an EEA Permanent Residence Card, an EEA national or the family member of an EEA national must be in the UK legally. Few people realise that in Britain there is a requirement to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance if the person exercising their Treaty rights is doing so as a student or as a self-sufficient person (for example, a pensioner). Failure to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance has led to many applications being rejected.

The British government has said the new Settled Status regime, which will replace the EEA Permanent Residence Card will not require EEA nationals or their family members to have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.

What can EEA Family Permit/Residence Card Applicants do Before Brexit?

The status of family members and extended family members of EEA nationals is precarious. Although no formal policy statement has been released, experts believe that after Brexit, non-EEA family members of EEA nationals will have to meet the same requirements as those applying for a Spouse/Civil Partnership Visa, including meeting the onerous Minimum Income Requirement.

The best course of action if you are the family member of an EEA national residing in the UK is to obtain your EEA Permanent Residence Card if you are eligible and then become naturalised. This will provide you with peace of mind for the future.

Given the high number of refusals for EEA Family Permits/Residence Cards and EEA Permanent Residence Cards, the best chance of making a successful application is to instruct an experienced immigration lawyer in London as soon as possible. Should your application be refused, an experienced lawyer can quickly identify the reason and appeal the decision if applicable.

A Y & J Solicitors are specialists in immigration law based in central London. If you would like to have more information, please contact us at [email protected] or call +44 20 7404 7933.

Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.

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