Successful Appeal for Dependent Family Members of a British Citizen residing in EEA state

Sterling & Law was successful in the appeal, concerning the refusal of the Home Secretary (Respondent) to grant residency cards to the Appellants, who were dependent family members of a British Citizen (Sponsor), exercising Treaty rights in Germany, in accordance with Regulation 9 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006.

The Sponsor decided to set up a business in Germany in September 2015, however they decided to move back to the UK in January 2016 due to various factors, including difficulties with running the business as well as illness.

The application for residence cards by the Appellants was refused on the grounds that the Sponsor did not transfer her centre of life to Germany, and because the Appellants did not live with the Sponsor in Germany, as required by European law.

The reason why this case stands out is that Respondent’s representative chose not to argue their case on the grounds that the Appellants did not reside with the Sponsor in Germany. Given this turn, the Appellant had to prove that the Sponsor (1) moved her centre of life to Germany, and (2) was lawfully resident in Germany for the sole purpose of exercising Treaty Rights.

The Respondent’s argument was that the Sponsor did not make a “wholesale move” to Germany [37]. Although the judge was not convinced from the circumstances of the case that the Sponsor indeed moved her centre of life to Germany, given the lack of evidence of planning to set up a business or integrate in Germany, he concluded that the Sponsor did not have strong ties with Germany.

Luckily for the Appellants, however, the judge noted that it was not required by Regulation 9 to move one’s centre of life to Germany. In fact, it was merely a factor to take into account when considering whether the Sponsor’s residence in Germany was genuine.

From all the circumstances and evidence submitted, the judge concluded that the Sponsor was indeed genuinely resident in Germany for the sole purpose of establishing a business there. It was not necessary for the Appellants in this particular case to show either their residence with the Sponsor in Germany or the fact that the Sponsor moved her centre of life to Germany in order to appeal successfully. In short, this case shows that anything can happen at the appeal stage!