Policy Update: EEA Regulations amendments come into force on 24 July 2018

The latest amendments to the Immigration (European Economic Area) 2016 (“the EEA Regulations”) will come into force next Tuesday, 24 July 2018. Currently, nationals of other EEA countries and their family members must make an application under the EEA Regulations in order to come to the UK, as opposed to under the Immigration Rules as is required by non-EEA nationals seeking to make a UK visa application. The requirements under the EEA Regulations are far less stringent than the Immigration Rules, although come March 2019 EEA nationals and their family members will need to make an application under the settled status scheme. In the meantime, however, applications are still to be made in accordance with the EEA Regulations and we outline some of the key changes below.

Retaining self-employed status under the EEA Regulations amendment

The amendment under Regulation 6 (“qualified person”) of the EEA Regulations brings the rights for EU nationals to retain their self-employed status in line with the conditions for an EU national to retain their status as a worker. Being able to retain self-employed status means that EU nationals will still be considered to be exercising their Treaty Rights. Self-employed status can be retained by EU nationals in the following circumstances:

  • If the person is temporarily unable to engage in self-employed activities as a result of illness or an accident;
  • If the person is in duly recorded involuntary unemployment after having worked as a self-employed person in the UK, provided the person-
    • Has registered as a job seeker with the relevant employment office; and
    • They entered the UK as self-employed or to seek self-employed work, or were in the UK seeking employment or self-employed work immediately after having resided in the UK as self-employed, self-sufficient or as a student; and
    • They can provide evidence of seeking employment or self-employment and having a genuine chance of being engaged.
  • If the person is involuntarily no longer self-employed and has embarked on vocational training; or
  • Has voluntarily ceased self-employment and has embarked on vocational training that is related to their previous occupation.

Those who previously worked in the UK as self-employed for a year or more can retain their self-employed status for longer than 6 months if they can demonstrate they are continuing to seek employment. For EU nationals who had worked for less than a year as self-employed in the UK can only retain their self-employed status for 6 months.

Dual nationality under the EEA Regulations amendment

Dual nationality means you can be a citizen of two countries at the same time. Whilst Britain accepts dual citizenship, not all countries do. New regulation 9A (Dual national: national of an EEA State who acquires British citizenship) has been introduced to the EEA Regulations. Under this amendment, nationals of EU countries who have later naturalised as British are able to retain their rights under EU law. This means that if a non-EEA family member wishes to join them in the UK, then they may make an application under the EEA Regulations rather than the more stringent Immigration Rules, as long as the dual national was exercising their Treaty Rights in the UK before they naturalized. It has been reported that this amendment will also become part of the Government’s new Settled Status Scheme once the UK has left the EU next year.

Permanent Residence and Deportation under the EEA Regulations amendment

In regard to Permanent Residence under regulation 15 of the EEA Regulations, an amendment has been made to clarify that an EU national who has resided in the UK for 10 years but have acquired the right of Permanent Residence in order to be entitled to greater protection against exclusion from the UK.

Changes have also been made to deportation and exclusion order under the EEA Regulations. Any person that is subject to a deportation or exclusion order under the EEA Regulations does not have a right of admission, an initial, extended or permanent right of residence in the UK. Any EU national subject to a deportation or exclusion order who applies for an EEA Family Permit or residence document will have their application deemed invalid.

Using Legal Representation to make an application under the EEA Regulations

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 immigration and visa legal representatives to make an application under the EEA Regulations.

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 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 and EEA Regulations are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules or EEA Regulations.

Successful applications under the EEA Regulations

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 Permanent Residence application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your application under the EEA Regulations 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 Permanent Residence applications. 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.

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