Case Study: EEA extended family members dependency

The recent Upper Tribunal case of Chowdhury (Extended family members: dependency) [2020] UKUT 188 (IAC) confirms that extended family members of EEA nationals must prove that their dependency on their EEA national sponsor is continuous. Understanding the rules in relation to extended family members of EEA nationals can be difficult; especially given the recent case law. However, our Immigration Solicitors in London are specialists with EU immigration applications and appeals and can assist with even the most complex of cases, therefore it is important to contact us to arrange a consultation with our solicitors who can assess each individual case and advise on how to proceed with a successful application.

Background to the Chowdhury (extended family members dependency) case

The Appellant is a national of Bangladesh who entered the UK on a Tier 4 (General) student visa on 28 February 2011. Following an interview from Immigration control, it was concluded that the Appellant’s English language proficiency was not adequate enough for him to attend his course and consequently his sponsorship was withdrawn. The Appellant appealed the decision but this was dismissed on 17 April 2011. The Appellant failed to leave the UK and became an illegal immigrant living under the radar in the UK.

Facts of the Chowdhury (extended family members dependency) case

On 28 January 2016, the Appellant made an application for an EEA Residence Card as the extended family member of an EEA national under regulation 8(2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“EEA Regulations 2006”) (amended by the EEA Regulations 2016).  The Appellant claimed to be an extended family member of an EEA national whose sister is the Appellant’s grandmother. The application was refused as the Home Office was not satisfied that the Appellant had provided sufficient evidence that he was a dependent of the EEA national in Bangladesh or in the UK.

The EEA national sponsor claimed that he moved to Italy in 1982 and that he continued to provide his sister (the Appellant’s grandmother), with whom the Appellant lived. He claimed he would give them money whenever he visited Bangladesh and would send money via friends who were visiting Bangladesh from Italy. The Judge accepted that the Appellant was part of the EEA national’s household in Bangladesh and therefore dependent on the EEA national sponsor until he left Bangladesh in 2011. However, the Judge was not satisfied that the Appellant was financially supported by the EEA national sponsor (who had since moved to the UK) between 2011 and 2014/2015 whilst he was in the UK.

After the First-tier Tribunal Judge refused the Appellant’s appeal and subsequent unsuccessful permission to appeal applications, the Appellant successfully issued a claim for Judicial Review challenging the decision of the Upper Tribunal to refuse permission to appeal. The Upper Tribunal decision to refuse permission to appeal was quashed and this appeal focuses on whether there was an error of law from the First-tier Tribunal Judge in refusing the Appellant’s appeal refusing the residence card application.

Judgement of the Chowdhury (extended family members dependency) case

After considering all of the evidence, the Judge dismissed the Appellant’s case as the Appellant had been self-sufficient in the UK between 2011 and 2014/2015 and thus not being dependent on the EEA national sponsor. The Appellant had arrived in the UK independently of his EEA national sponsor and has been able to live in the UK for several years without being a dependent of his. It was also found that in 2011 when the Appellant intended on studying in the UK, it was his father providing financial support to the Appellant and not the EEA national sponsor.

You can access the full Judgement here: Chowdhury (Extended family members: dependency) [2020] UKUT 188 (IAC) | LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors in London

What does the Chowdhury (extended family members dependency) case mean for extended family members?

This case will have an impact on EEA extended family member visa applications. It highlights that there must not be a break in the dependency of the non-EEA extended family member on their EEA national sponsor. The onus is on the Applicant to provide sufficient evidence in support of this and all of the other requirements for a successful EEA (EFM) application.

What is EEA extended family member?

For visa purposes an extended family member of an EEA national is defined under regulation 8 of the EEA Regulations 2016. An extended family member is someone who is not defined as a family member under regulation 7 of the EEA Regulations 2016 which include spouses, civil partners and children. Examples of an extended family member include unmarried partners and siblings. As with family members, extended family members can apply to join their EEA national sponsor in the UK with an EEA Residence Card valid for 5 years. Extended family members must demonstrate that they are dependent on the EEA national sponsor and thus should be granted a Residence Card in order to join them or remain with them in the UK whilst receiving support from them.

Can extended family members apply for pre settled status?

Yes, extended family members of EEA nationals can apply for pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme as this will replace the Residence Card under the EEA Regulations. Once extended family members have had pre-settled status for 5 years, they can then apply to switch their leave to settled status. However, under the Immigration Rules Appendix EU, a “dependent relative” must have a “relevant document” (i.e. a Residence Card or Permanent Residence Card) which can only be issued under the EEA Regulations. Therefore, if extended family members are being prevented from qualifying for them based on being able to demonstrate continued dependency, they will not be able to apply under the Scheme.

Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to submit a successful Extended Family Member Application or Appeal

Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with an application or appeal as an Extended Family Member of an EEA national. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the tribunal requirements/directions.

Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. If your application has been erroneously refused, our solicitors and barristers will ensure your appeal as an Extended Family Member has the best prospects of success.

The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application or appeal as an Extended Family Member of an EEA national meets the Rules.

Successful EEA Extended Family Member Applications and Appeals with our Immigration Solicitors in London

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 prospects of submitting an Extended Family Member appeal before your appeal even reaches the Tribunal. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of an Extended Family Member application or appeal 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.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications and appeals. 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 to discuss an Extended Family Member application or appeal.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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