If you are a family member of an EU national you should consider applying for an EEA Residence Card to confirm your status in the UK. Whilst Brexit negotiations are ongoing it remains unclear, what rights will be given to EU nationals and their family members once the UK officially leaves the EU. Whilst the UK Government has suggested that EU nationals will always be welcomed to the UK there has been a lack of clear direction leaving EU nationals in the realms of uncertainty.
Who should apply for an EEA Residence Card?
If you are a non-EEA national and a family member of an EU national you can apply for an EEA Residence Card. An EEA Residence Card will confirm your status in the UK and will generally make life easier in the UK. There is no obligation for direct family members such as Spouses to apply for an EEA Residence Card but it is recommended that family members of EEA nationals apply to protect their status in the UK. Despite ongoing Brexit negotiations, it remains unclear what the future holds for EEA nationals and their family members.
In addition to the uncertainty, the Home Office has implemented a controversial hostile environment policy. The hostile environment policy has had a massive impact on employers, landlords and banks. Employers and Landlords are now reluctant to employ or rent to individuals who cannot produce a formal EEA document confirming their status in the UK. Employers and landlords who are found guilty of failing to carry out the necessary right to work and right to rent checks will face financial penalties and in some cases may be prosecuted.
How long will an EEA Residence Card be valid?
An EEA Residence Card will be valid for up to 5 years from the date of issue. However, EEA nationals and their family members should be mindful that once the UK officially leaves the European Union EEA Residence cards will no longer be valid. If you hold an EEA Residence Card post -Brexit there will be a new scheme available for EU citizens and their family members to apply to stay in the UK.
Due to the high volume of applications being received by the Home Office applications are generally taking longer to be processed and reviewed. We recommend family members or EEA nationals act and protect their status in the UK by applying for an EEA Residence Card. Our solicitors have a proven track record of submitting successful EEA Residence Card applications.
How to apply for an EEA Residence Card?
An EEA Residence Card application is not governed by the UK Immigration Rules and is an application made under the Immigration European Economic Area Regulations 2016. The most important requirement for an Applicant is to demonstrate that he/she falls under the definition given to a family member under Regulations 7 and 8 of the EEA Regulations 2016. Once you have demonstrated that you are a family member you will need to provide evidence that your EEA national family member is present in the UK and is exercising Treaty Rights. For more information on the requirements we recommend, Applicants give our immigration team a call on 0207 1830 570.
How to Appeal a refusal of an EEA Residence Card
If you believe your application for an EEA Residence Card has been refused incorrectly it may be possible to appeal the Home Office decision. Previously a key consideration for your right of appeal would have been reliant on whether under the EEA Regulations you are a direct family member or extended family member. However, recent case law in SM (Algeria) v Entry Clearance Officer 2018 has overturned the decision in Sala v SSHD 2016. It is now the position that Extended Family Members may be able to appeal a negative Home Office decision.
In circumstances where you have not been granted a Statutory Right of appeal, there are other avenues that can be explored to challenge an erroneous Home Office decision. A popular but costly method of challenging a Home Office decision is by lodging a Judicial Review claim to the High Court. However, it should be noted that Judicial Review proceedings should only be instigated as a last resort. The onus is on the Applicants to demonstrate that all other remedies have been exercised.
Using Legal Representation to submit an EEA Residence Card Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an EEA Residence Card application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your EEA Residence Card application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your Standard Visitor Visa application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful EEA Residence Card Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your EEA Residence Card application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your EEA Residence Card application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful EEA Residence Card application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.