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Adult step-children of EU citizens don’t qualify for family member residence cards


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Ronnie Latayan came to the UK from the Philippines on a visit visa in 2004 and has been here ever since, through multiple unsuccessful applications for further leave to remain. Now 46, Ms Latayan lives with her mother, a naturalised British citizen with an Irish partner.

In Latayan v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2020] EWCA Civ 191, the Court of Appeal heard Ms Latayan’s appeal against her latest Home Office refusal. She had applied for an EEA residence card, arguing that she was a dependent of her mother’s partner. Ms Latayan described him as her “stepfather” and said that he sent her money in the Philippines between 1998 and 2004.

The Court of Appeal had to decide whether Ms Latayan came under Regulation 7(1)(b)(ii) of the EEA Regulations 2006. To do so, she would have to be a “direct descendant” of her stepfather.

Despite her not being his biological or adopted child, counsel for Ms Latayan made the “spirited argument” that a “de facto” or “real-world” parental relationship existed here. But Lord Justice Peter Jackson, giving several reasons, found otherwise:

a step-child of an EU citizen (meaning a child of a person who is in a relationship with an EU citizen, not being a marriage or a civil partnership) is not a direct descendant of the citizen within the meaning of the Regulations.

A second ground of appeal was rejected as “no more than a disagreement with the [First-Tier Tribunal’s] assessment of evidence”, and the appeal dismissed.

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CJ McKinney

CJ McKinney is a specialist on immigration law and policy. Formerly the editor of Free Movement, you will find a lot of articles by CJ here on this website! Twitter: @mckinneytweets.