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McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

EEA Regulations amendment No 2 2013

23 December 2013 McGill & Co Solicitors Immigration

Effective from the 1st January is Amendment No 2 to the European Economic Area Regulations . There will be a new requirement for those using the "surinder singh" route to show that centre of  the  {British Citizen's} life has transferred to the EEA state where the {British Citizen} has resided as a worker or self employed person. This will be assessed by reference to Regulation 9 (3) (a) the period of residence in the EEA State (b) the location of the person's principal residence & (c) the degree of integration of the person in the EEA State. As highlighted in the explanatory note, this change is to ensure that the British Citizen engages in genuine and effective use of rights conferred by the EU Directive before a right to reside in the United Kingdom is conferred on a non EEA Family member.

Other important amendments include the new Regulation 6 (2) which provides that a person who has worked for less than 12 months may only retain worker status for a maximum of 6 months should they become involuntarily unemployed. A person may only be able to retain the status of jobseeker for more than 6 months if they are able to produce compelling evidence of seeking work and having a genuine chance of being engaged.

Where the Secretary of State has a reasonable doubt about a person's right to reside or wishes to verify the identity of a person making an application, the new Regulation 20 allows that person or a person connected to their right to reside ( eg: an EEA family member ) to be invited for interview by the Secretary of State. Where a person fails to attend on at least 2 occasions at any requested interview, then the application for a right to reside will be refused.


It is of some concern that the assessment of  proportionality  is being rolled out further in the context of EEA applications .  What is meant by the "centre of life"  and how is "integration" to be measured  ? Several issues require to be assessed in these matters and there can be no standard checklist given that each case must be assessed on its own facts and circumstances. It is highly unlikely that the Secretary of State will follow the guidance as highlighted by the European court if the proportionality assessments on non EU cases are anything to go by. One can only see further unnecessary delays and refusals ahead.

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