Following the judgment of R (on the application of Zewdu) v The Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWHC 2148 (Admin) (09 June 2015), the Home Office agreed has to pay the non EEA national Claimant a sum of £40,000 as damages due to a 19 month delay in providing her with her EU residence documents.The Claimant in this case was a carer for a British citizen and relied on the principle in ‘Zambrano’. We consider her case in more detail below.
The Claimant in this matter concerned a non-European Economic Area (EEA) national who entered the UK in 2003 and following her relationship with a British man she gave birth to a British citizen child in 2009. The Claimant’s relationship with the father of the child broke down and the British national father left the UK and moved to Jamaica in 2012. The Claimant relied on the the Zambrano C-34/09 judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union. The principle in ‘Zambrano’ enables non-EEA nationals who are the carers of British citizens the right to reside and work in the UK, as without their support and earnings it must be assumed that the British citizen would have to leave the EEA with their carers.
The Home Office agreed that the non-EEA national was the sole carer of her British child and that as per the Zambrano case she should be permitted to remain in the UK. The Claimant’s case was accepted and she was granted 30 months Discretionary Leave to Remain. The Home Office delayed the non-EEA national’s matter and failed to provide her with her derivative rights residence card for 19 months.
It is unclear as to how the damages in this case were calculated but what is particularly interesting is that the claimant in this matter;
- did not have lawful status before she was granted DLR; and
- was able to work throughout the 19 month period of delay because she had been granted DLR, and had not suffered any direct direct financial loss as a result of the Home Office delay.
What this means for EEA and Non-EEA National Applicants
This case is particularly significant as it established that Applicants who face any unlawful delay in receiving their residence documents could be entitled to damages from the Home Office. The Home Office confirmed that it would pay for damages where there has been an unlawful delay in providing anyone with a Certificate of Entitlement and thereafter, a Residence Card. This case could therefore be of benefit to thousands of Applicants who may have suffered financial losses as a direct result of a Home Office delay. This can usually occur where the Home Office has failed to provide written confirmation as to whether an Applicant has the right to work whilst awaiting the conclusion of their matter.
According to the EEA Regulations; non-EEA nationals who are the family members of ‘qualified‘ EEA nationals (who are exercising their treaty rights in the UK) have a right to reside in the UK. If the Home Office receives such an application then it must provide a Certificate of Entitlement so that a non-EEA national can work and live in the UK until their matter is decided. The Home Office must then provide Applicants with a decision in respect of their application within a six month period.
Successful EEA Residence Applications
Choosing the right law firm from the beginning can ensure the correct EEA applications are made from the outset this will not only allow for an easy mind in preparing for an application, but will also mean that in the long run Applicants will save time and money with a specialist law firm who follow the strict letter of the law and the Solicitors Regulations Guidelines.
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified immigration solicitors and barristers bear in mind the paramount duty of all legal representatives to act in your best interest whilst complying with the strict letter of the law. Our team of specialists can be distinguished from other law firms with our client tailored approach and scrutiny of options available to you from the outset. We will be able to advise you in respect of the merits of your application by providing you with advice from our leading team of barristers before your matter even reaches the Home Office.
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