All Articles: EU Free Movement

The government can easily fix its policy on citizenship for EU nationals – here’s how

The Home Secretary has a lot of power over naturalisation, the process by which foreign nationals can acquire British citizenship. The criteria for naturalisation are set out in the British Nationality Act 1981, but that Act also empowers the Home Sec ...

15th October 2020 By

It just got even more difficult for EU nationals to get British citizenship

On 30 September 2020 the Home Office updated its good character policy for naturalisation to make it even harder for EU nationals to become British citizens.  The new policy doubles the period of time, from five years to ten years, during which certa ...

7th October 2020 By

Digital-only status for EU citizens “creates a real risk of harm”, experts warn

Digital-only residence permits could make it harder for migrants to access vital services like jobs and housing, a new report warns. Landlords and employers used to physical passports and residence permits may discriminate against migrants whose proof ...

1st October 2020 By

What is a frontier worker permit and will it help people commuting into the UK for work?

With weeks to go to the end of free movement on the rather apocalyptic sounding “IP Completion day” (the end of the implementation period, at 11pm on 31 December 2020), the post-Brexit immigration system is finally beginning to take shape. ...

30th September 2020 By

Applying for settled and pre-settled status requires genuine residence

Although the UK ceased to be a member of the EU on 31 January 2020, the transition period arrangements mean that EU citizens can still apply for leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme even if they move to the UK after that date, as long as the ...

29th September 2020 By

What is the legal status of EU citizens during the post-Brexit “grace period”?

As we’re constantly being reminded, free movement will come to an end this year. From 1 January 2021, EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who wish to move to the UK to work and study will have to meet the requirements of the new points-based immigration syste ...

25th September 2020 By

EU deportation protections after Brexit

From next year there will be two categories of EEA national: Those who began their residence in the UK before 31 December 2020; and Those who began their residence in the UK after 31 December 2020. The law a person is subject to will depend on whi ...

24th September 2020 By

EU Settlement Scheme “still unknown to many migrants”

Many eastern European migrant workers don’t know that the EU Settlement Scheme exists, new research suggests. A survey of EU citizens in Cambridgeshire by the Social Market Foundation think tank found that barely half were aware of the Settlemen ...

21st September 2020 By

Briefing: can EU citizens with pre-settled status claim Universal Credit?

It was the worst of times; it was the worst of times. As a result of the Home Office gridlock caused by the coronavirus pandemic, EU citizens seeking to apply for post-Brexit immigration status under the EU Settlement Scheme have been disadvantaged in ...

28th July 2020 By

Man drawing UK state pension not allowed to claim carer’s allowance from Cyprus

The appellant in the case of Konevod v Secretary of State for Work And Pensions [2020] EWCA Civ 809 moved to Cyprus in 2014 to become a carer for a friend, Ms Ozturk. Both Mr Konevod and Ms Ozturk had lived and worked in the UK, qualifying for state ...

7th July 2020 By

Comment: is the EU Settlement Scheme working for children?

With one year left before the close of the EU Settlement Scheme, the headline numbers look positive for the Home Office. By the end of May 2020 more than 3.6 million applications had been made, although some people have applied more than once.  This ...

6th July 2020 By

Extended family members can’t have any breaks in dependency on EU sponsor

Reading judgments from the Upper Tribunal on the EEA Regulations often feels like going back in time. A lot of the recent case law has clarified points of law in favour of migrants but almost all have come far too late to be useful. The latest case of ...

16th June 2020 By

Tens of thousands of people wait months for an EU Settlement Scheme decision

The EU Settlement Scheme promised convenience and efficiency for those required to secure their immigration status in the UK after Brexit. Yet statistics retrieved from the Home Office indicate that at least 36,000 applications had faced delays of ove ...

2nd June 2020 By

It just got more difficult for EU nationals to become British citizens

The Home Office has decided to make it more difficult for European residents to become British citizens. EU citizens with settled status who apply for naturalisation may now have to provide evidence that they have been living in the UK legally, accord ...

18th May 2020 By

European Commission accuses UK government of violating EU citizens’ rights

The European Commission has formally accused the UK government of breaching EU law on free movement of people. Brussels today launched “infringement proceedings” against the UK, the process used to force EU member countries to comply with ...

14th May 2020 By

Lengthy absences from the UK can put EU settled status at risk

For most people, the EU Settlement Scheme has largely lived up to its government billing as generous and straightforward, but confusion over permitted absences is likely to cause some European residents trouble down the line. People with pre-settled s ...

6th May 2020 By

You can carry on with an old-style EU law appeal even if granted settled status

The abandonment of an ongoing appeal seems to be a hot topic for the Upper Tribunal recently, with the case of Ammari (EEA appeals – abandonment) [2020] UKUT 124 (IAC) following on the heels of MSU and Aziz. This time the facts concern an appeal ...

5th May 2020 By

No need to be a “qualified person” to use the Surinder Singh route

Tribunals that decide whether someone is entitled to benefits often have to grapple with our nightmarish immigration law. HK v SSWP (PC) [2020] UKUT 73 (AAC) is one such case from the Administrative Appeals Chamber. It effectively confirms that a Brit ...

4th May 2020 By

High Court blow for EU citizens with pre-settled status trying to claim Universal Credit

The High Court has rejected an argument that the regulations making it difficult for Europeans with pre-settled status to access most public funds are discriminatory on the ground of nationality. The case is Fratila and Tanase v SSWP [2020] EWHC 998 ( ...

30th April 2020 By

No knowing how many Europeans will be left unlawfully resident by Brexit, experts warn

There is no way of telling how many EU citizens will be left living illegally in the UK because of Brexit, a new report has concluded. The Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford says that the government doesn’t collect or release the ...

16th April 2020 By

Prison time doesn’t count as “residence” in establishing enhanced EU law protection against deportation

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the judicial review case of Hafeez v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] EWHC 437 (Admin). In that judgment, handed down on 28 February, the High Court held that decisions to certify cases ...

24th March 2020 By

EU citizens are protected by EU law, High Court reminds government

The High Court has held that the Home Office trying to apply its “deport first, appeal later” policy to EU citizens is incompatible with European Union law. The case is Hafeez v Secretary of State for the Home Department & Anor [2020] ...

9th March 2020 By

Government hiding key Settlement Scheme data, inspection report suggests

The Home Office has been concealing important data about the EU Settlement Scheme, an independent inspection report suggests. While the department refuses to release the number of “disguised refusals”, or to disclose gender breakdowns rele ...

28th February 2020 By

The unsettling Settlement Scheme: what happens if EU citizens refuse to apply?

The years since the EU referendum have been an emotional rollercoaster for European citizens in the UK.   Initial shock and disbelief were followed by months of uncertainty and tension as the British government negotiated a transitional agreement ...

27th February 2020 By
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