Changes to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations
On 8th November 2012, changes to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 came into effect.
The amended regulations set out the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK and also confirm the criteria for rights to permanent residence. The key changes to the regulations include:
- removal of the requirement in regulation 8(2(a) that an extended family member must have resided in a country in which the EEA national also resides. This gives effect to the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) judgment in the case of Rahman (C83/11),
- amendments to confer rights of entry and residence on the primary carer of a British citizen. This gives effect to the ECJ judgment in the case of Ruiz Zambrano (C34/09),
- amendments to who is to be regarded as a primary carer for derivative rights,
- amendments to regulation 26 so that a person claiming to be the durable partner of an EEA national may only appeal where they have provided sufficient evidence of the relationship with that EEA national, and
- amendments to enable the Secretary of State to accept alternative evidence of identification and nationality where a person is unable to provide a valid ID card or passport due to circumstances beyond their control.
A right to reside in the UK on the basis of ECJ judgment in Ruiz Zambrano does not stem directly from Directive 2004/38/EC and is therefore referred to as a ‘derivative right’. This means that the recognition of this right by the UK is not equal to rights under the directive.
This also means that those who acquire derivative rights are not eligible to acquire permanent residence in the UK, or to sponsor family members in to the UK once they have acquired a right to reside.
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