Impact of European / EEA Nationals obtaining British Citizenship on their Family Members who have Re
This post is no longer valid since there have been amendments to the law, please refer to our new post Dual British - EU / EEA citizens can sponsor Non-EU / Non-EEA Family Members for a UK Residence Document under the EU/EEA law even after naturalising as British Citizens
Since the Brexit vote, most of the European/EEA Nationals have been trying to obtain British Citizenship as quickly as possible without understanding the implications of their actions on their Non-EEA National Family Members who are living with them.
We have been getting several enquiries from various European/EEA Nationals informing us that their Family Members Residence Cards have been revoked/ cancelled by Home Office, in particular, where the Family Member had got the Residence Card as an Unmarried Partner i.e. as an Extended Family Member.
As soon as an European/EEA National obtains British Citizenship, he/she looses to benefit from using his/her European/EEA Status to sponsor a Non-EEA National to reside with him/her in the United Kingdom.
Until 16th July 2012, persons who held British citizenship and who were also nationals of another EEA member state could rely on their EEA Nationality to benefit from the terms of the Directive 2004/58/EC of the European Parliament to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States of the Union.
However, on 16th July 2012, the definition of an EEA National has been amended to preclude dual British citizens/EEA Nationals from benefiting from the directive, further precluding their family members from relying upon free movement rights. These amendments gave effect to the Court of Justice ruling in the case of McCarthy.
Hence, considering the above changes, the UK Home Office has been reconsidering the family members current entitlement to the Residence Card which was issued to such family member.
Please note that if the European/EEA National becomes British, then his/her Unmarried Partner who has a valid Residence Card, may be revoked/cancelled by Home Office.
The fact that an European/EEA National has now become British may be flagged to the UK Home Office by several possible reasons such as filing an application to the UK Home Office for another family member of the Non-EEA National to join the family, etc.
As of today, UK Home Office is not actively looking for Unmarried Partners who have been sponsored by European/EEA Nationals who have now become British. However, learning from the past behaviour of UK Home Office, it is highly likely to happen after March 2017 after the Article 50 has been triggered.
European/EEA Nationals are advised to exercise caution and consider the consequences of obtaining British Citizenship/Passport and the implications of their actions on their Extended Family Members, before filing their British Naturalisation applications.
Disclaimer: The above article is merely the opinion of the author for informational purposes and shall not be relied upon as an advice. Every EEA National’s circumstances are different, hence, it is advisable that you consult a Qualified Immigration Lawyer before filing any EEA Applications. Further, the information in this article is current and relevant as on the date of publishing, the UK Immigration rules are subject to change on a regular basis. Hence, it is advisable that you consult a Qualified Immigration Lawyer before filing any EEA Applications/British Naturalisation Applications.