Under Regulation 15 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, EEA nationals and family members of EEA nationals acquire the right of permanent residence after residing in the UK and exercising treaty rights for a period of at least 5 continuous years. Sterling law represented clients who were refused the right of permanent residence in the UK on this basis. The first appellant was an EEA national who was denied these rights along with their third-party national spouse who was refused the right of permanent residence as the spouse of an EEA national.
It was said that the reason for refusal was that the main appellant had not satisfied that they were exercising treaty rights for a continuous period of 5 years.
The bundle prepared by Sterling Law on behalf of the appellants showed that the reasons for refusal were unfounded. It was proved that the main appellant satisfies and had established treaty rights as an EEA worker in the UK. Evidence was provided by way of bank statements and pay slips for a period of just over 5 years. It was also found that the appellant was a job seeker as established by Hoekstra (nee Unger) case 76/63 (1964) ECR 177 which held that the EU law protected the ‘present worker’ but also ‘one who has left his job, and is capable of taking another’, as the main appellant was unemployed for two months within the 5 year period. It was also found that the second appellant (as the spouse of the main appellant) also exercised their treaty rights in the UK by proof of residence and employment for a period of 5 years and therefore is also entitled to permanent residence.