Tag: EEA National

Upper Tribunal held that prison sentence does not break integral links of an EEA national in the UK

In recent years, EEA nationals have been looking for a silver lining concerning the protections confined unto them by relevant EU Regulations. CJEU judgements, combined with domestic law, succeeded in muddying the waters in providing clear clarification to the rights of EEA nationals. This is particularly true for EEA nationals who have been seeking protection against expulsion by a Host Member state as a result of a previous prison sentence.

A recent decision in the Upper Tribunal provided a start in clarifying whether a person who served a sentence of imprisonment breaks his 10-year period of continuous residence in the UK under the Citizen Directive. Thus, excluding him from entitlement to enhanced protection against deportation.

The Facts

The Appellant left Poland and entered the UK in 2007. He had been residing in the UK for more than eleven years at the date of the decision to deport him on 5 July 2018. He has six convictions for various drink driving offences between 5 September 2011 and 18 May 2018. He received three custodial sentences. He also received a total of 280 days of imprisonment sentence but only spent actual time in prison for 123 days.

The question for the judge was whether the Appellant’s period of imprisonment (123 days) was sufficient to break his integrative links with the UK such that he was not entitled to “imperative grounds” enhanced protection under Regulation 27(4) Immigration (EEA) Regulation 2016.

First-tier Tribunal Decision 

The Appellant appealed to the First-tier Tribunal the deportation order made against him.

Unfortunately, the First Tribunal judge dismissed the Appellant’s appeal.

The judge mainly used the authority in, Warsame v Secretary of State for the Home DepartmentWarsame held that periods of imprisonment are excluded when calculating the 10- year period of residence and that it also breaks the continuity of residence under Regulation 27(4).

In the Appellant’s case, he did not have ten years’ continuous residence between 2007 (when he first arrived in the UK) and 28 February 2016 (when he was first imprisoned). If he had established ten years’ continuous residence before his imprisonment, it would also be necessary for him to show that integrating links with the UK had not been broken by imprisonment.

Since the Appellant acquired rights of permanent residence in March 2015, he was given medium protection against expulsion under Regulation 27(3). Namely, the deportation order must be justified on serious grounds of public policy and public security.

Appellant’s appeal and Upper Tribunal Decision 

The Appellant appealed against the First-tier Tribunal decision on the grounds of error of law.

He argued that he is entitled to the highest level of protection against expulsion under Regulation 27(4)(a).

He argued that he does not need to establish ten years’ continuous residence before his imprisonment. He only needs to prove whether he had forged the necessary integrative links over the nine years prior to imprisonment and whether the periods of imprisonment (123 days of actual imprisonment) were sufficient to break the continuity of residence (over ten years) at the date of the relevant decision.

The Upper Tribunal allowed the appeal.

The Upper Tribunal held that the correct authority to apply in this case is not Warsame but B v Land Baden-Wurttemberg (C-316/16) and Secretary of State for the Home Department v Vomero (C‑424/16). These are the Upper Tribunal’s findings:

  • It is an error of law for the First-tier Tribunal only to consider the totality of the sentences of imprisonment (280 days), instead of the actual time spent in the prison (123 days).
  • The case Baden-Wüttermberg and Vomero is clear to state that in deciding whether the Appellant is entitled to enhanced protection, there must be an overall assessment of the Appellant’s integration in the UK. Furthermore, time in imprisonment does not automatically break his integral links in the UK.
  • The Upper Tribunal conducted an overall assessment of the Applicant’s integration in the UK. They have taken into account the Appellant’s
  1. Use of his Treaty rights
  2. Period of residence in the UK
  3. The nature and seriousness of his offence
  4. Offending behaviour
  5. Circumstances in which the offence was committed
  6. Period of imprisonment
  7. Evidence that he may be developing some insight into the seriousness of his past conduct

Taken in to account the factors above, the Upper Tribunal is convinced that his period of imprisonment of 123 days taken together with the Appellant’s offending behaviour is not sufficient to break his integrative links with the UK such that it could not be said that he had not acquired ten years’ continuous residence in the UK.

The Upper Tribunal found that the Appellant is entitled to enhanced protection against expulsion and his criminal convictions are not sufficiently serious to meet the imperative grounds of public policy threshold.

Conclusion

This case is progress in clarifying EEA national’s rights under the Citizen Directive. It acts as a foundation to future cases which concerns the breakage of an EEA national’s integral links in the UK. Taking into account the nature and seriousness of the offence committed by an EEA national, a few months in prison is not enough to say that he does not deserve the right for enhanced protection confined under the Citizens’ Directive.

Are you in a similar situation? You can book a consultation with us here.

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contact@sterling-law.co.uk

+44 020 7822 8535

+44 7 305 966 531

Read about our other successful cases here.

EEA IMMIGRATION RULES: THE IMPORTANCE OF TIMELY IMMIGRATION ADVICE

Our client, a Brazilian National, joined her EEA national spouse in the UK many years ago. Later, her 2 children came to the UK to join their mother and stepfather. They all were granted residence cards several times. However, after 10-years in a relationship, our client got divorced. She and her children applied for permanent residence on the basis of the retained right of residence. However, their applications were refused.

 

The Home Office stated that our clients had not provided adequate evidence to show that their EEA national sponsor exercised his Treaty rights in the UK as a worker for a continuous period of 5 years.

At this stage, the family came to Sterling Law to seek Immigration advice.

In fact, two of the clients (mother and the youngest child) acquired Permanent Residence even in 2011 (under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016). However, as the older child turned 21 years after 4,5 years of continuous residency in the UK, he needed to show dependency on the EEA sponsor or his mother for remaining half a year to qualify for permanent residence. But during this time he was employed and was earning even more than his mother. Thus, he could not show the required dependency.

At this late stage, Sterling Law lodged an Appeal. The Judge was satisfied that sufficient evidence of ex-husband employment history was provided and thus, allowed the appeal in respect of mother and the younger child.

As the older child was not able to show dependency on his mother for the required period, he did not meet the requirements to obtain permanent residence. However, he is able to obtain leave to remain and Sterling Law is now lodging the application. But would he seek immigration advice before his 21st birthday, he might already become a British citizen.

 

Do not postpone your application.

Contact us should you have any immigration related question:

Nollienne Alparaque

Email: Nollienne@sterling-law.co.uk

Tel. 020 7822 8535

ALLEGED MISUSING THE RIGHT OF RESIDENCE IN THE UK

Excellent news! The appeal regarding removal directions for our client was allowed!

Our client, a national of Pakistan, married an EU national who is exercising treaty rights in the UK and has a permanent residence here. After entering the UK with an EEA family permit our client successfully obtained an EEA residence card. A year into the marriage, the wife’s sister tragically passed away in Brazil leaving behind four minor children. Deeply affected by this loss, our client and his spouse decided to adopt these children. So our client’s wife went to Brazil for around 6 months to resolve various matters regarding the adoption.

At the date his wife was returning to the UK Immigration Officers came to our client’s home and interviewed him.

  • His request to postpone the interview (he was not feeling well) was ignored.
  • The immigration Officers did not make any notes regarding this request.
  • They did not pay attention to the fact that our client’s wife returned to the UK on the interview date and it would be useful to interview her as well before making any immigration decision.
  • Moreover, Immigration Officers even made several offensive Islamophobic remarks regarding our client’s appearance.

Relying on the interview records the Home Office made removal directions for our client on the grounds that

he misused the right to reside in the UK since his EEA sponsor left the UK just one month after his arrival in the UK and has not returned since (that was wrong).

 

Sterling Law successfully appealed this decision pointing out that there was a specific reason for the wife’s absence (adoption). The judge allowed the appeal and found that the Home Office decision was disproportionate.

Thanks to our lawyers Jekaterina Trubina and Shakir Hussain our clients are able to continue their family life in the UK and care for the wife’s sister children after adoption.

 

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Successful appeal against refusal to issue Residence Card to Spouse of EEA national

The case resolved around a refusal by the Secretary of State (Respondent) to issue an EEA Residence Card to a Georgian national (Appellant) who is a spouse of an EEA national.

The reason for the refusal was that the Respondent was not satisfied that the relevant EEA national exercised Treaty rights.

The Home Office argued that there were discrepancies in evidence of work, relying on the case of Begum Pakistan [2011] UKUT 275. However, the Judge did not accept the Home Office’s argument, finding that the evidence provided was sufficient, and that the witness statements were credible, including the ones describing the EEA national’s employment circumstances and history in the UK.

As a result, the Appellant’s spouse was determined to be a worker for the purposes of the EEA Regulations, and the Appellant has successfully discharged the burden of proof.

Accordingly, the appeal was allowed.

AFTER 6 ATTEMPTS WITHOUT REPRESENTATION, FINALLY ISSUED A EEA FAMILY PERMIT

The Applicant, a citizen of Georgia, who has been married to an EEA National, was refused not once, but six times EEA Family Permit visa which he made without legal representation over the course of nearly two years. He had left the United Kingdom voluntary in 2015.

The first application was refused by the Home Office after they conducted a phone interview with the applicant. The first and then other 5 applications were refused based on the interview evidence provided during client’s first application.

Even though Entry Clearance officer had to consider each new application on its own merits, they failed to do so and refused all subsequent applications on the same ground.

Sterling & Law Associates LLP were instructed to make a seventh application of behalf of the client which was successful. After considering the facts and evidence provided by the client and six reasons for refusals Sterling & Law Associates LLP suggested the Georgian national to seek a Residence Permit in Estonia as a family member of a European Union national.

After a successful application, fresh compelling evidence and arguments brought by Sterling & Law Associates LLP, the Home Office issued a Family Permit to our client to join his wife in the UK.

“It was a huge task to challenge the Entry Clearance Officers after they have refused our client’s application six times and it was awarding not only for the client but for myself to “fight” for the visa for our client.” Daiga Barzdina

Daiga Barzdina