Dependent Parents applying under the EU Settlement Scheme
Dependent Parents of EEA citizens (or of their spouse or civil partner) can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status. However, under Appendix EU, it is unclear what the meaning of ‘dependent’ is, how it can be demonstrated, or if dependency needs to be demonstrated at all.
EEA Regulations 2016
Dependent parents who had to apply under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 had to demonstrate their dependency on the EEA citizen. This is set out within the definition of ‘family member’ with Regulation 7. This was in the form of financial dependency on the EEA citizen, which was needed for the applicant to meet their basic needs.
The rules as set out below suggest that the threshold is much lower for Appendix EU.
Rules set out in Appendix EU
The definition of a family member of a relevant EEA citizen is set out in Annex 2 of Appendix EU. Paragraph A2.1 of Annex 2 states that:
“A2.1. In this Part of this Appendix, a ‘family member of a relevant EEA citizen’ is a person who has satisfied the Secretary of State, including by the required evidence of family relationship, that they are (and for the relevant period have been) – or (as the case may be) for the relevant period (or at the relevant time) they were – the family member of a relevant EEA citizen on the basis of meeting the requirements in one of the five categories set out in the following table …”
Included in the 5 categories are ‘dependent parents’ of EEA citizens. ‘Dependent parent’ is defined as:
“the direct relative in the ascending line of a relevant EEA citizen (or of a qualifying British citizen) or of their spouse or civil partner.
the dependence of the direct relative in the ascending line on the relevant EEA citizen (or on the qualifying British citizen) – where the relevant EEA citizen or the qualifying British citizen is not a person under the age of 18 years, or on their spouse or civil partner, is assumed”
The word ‘assumed’ suggests that as long as the family relationship is accepted between the EEA citizen and their parent, that there is no need to provide any further evidence to demonstrate dependency.
As the word ‘dependency’ is included, it suggests that dependency must exist. However, the definition for dependent parent does not provide any further guidance for what ‘dependency’ means.
Evidence to provide – Guidance
The EU Settlement Scheme: EU, other EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members Guidance, Version 3.0 provides some further details on whether or not an applicant would need to prove dependency.
The guidance reiterates that the applicant must be the direct relative in the ascending line of the relevant EEA citizen (or qualifying British citizen) or of their spouse or civil partner, and includes a grandparent or great-grandparent and an adoptive parent of an adopted child.
It goes on to state that where the relevant EEA citizen (or qualifying British citizen) is over the age of 18, the applicant’s dependency on the relevant EEA citizen (or qualifying British citizen), or on the spouse or civil partner, is assumed, and the applicant is not required to provide evidence of this.
If the applicant already has a document certifying permanent residence, then this is all they will need to provide with their application. Where the applicant does not already hold a permanent residence document, the applicant must provide evidence of the family relationship for the relevant period, namely either:
- a relevant document issued on the basis of the relevant family relationship or;
- the full birth certificate(s) or other document(s) which you are satisfied evidences that the applicant is the direct relative in the ascending line of the relevant EEA citizen (or qualifying British citizen) or of the spouse or civil partner
Additionally, the applicant will need to provide proof of the identity and nationality of the relevant EEA citizen (or qualifying British citizen) of whom the applicant is the family member.
Could the Home Office request evidence of dependency?
The Home Office do have power to request further evidence or information in an application under Appendix EU to ensure that the applicant is eligible for pre-settled or settled status. However, given that the rules and guidance suggests that no evidence of dependency is required, it is unclear on what basis the Home Office could make this request.
Pre-settled and settled status
If an applicant is granted pre-settled status as a dependent parent, after 5 years, they will be eligible to apply for settled status as a dependent parent. The definition for dependency does not change at the settled status stage, however it is unclear whether dependency would need to be demonstrated for the whole 5-year period.
Contact our Immigration Barristers
For expert advice and assistance regarding applications for dependent parents under Appendix EU, contact our immigration barristers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.