Updates, commentary, training and advice on immigration and asylum law

“Chen parent” could claim child benefit once daughter had permanent residence


Older content is locked

A great deal of time and effort goes into producing the information on Free Movement, become a member of Free Movement to get unlimited access to all articles, and much, much more


By becoming a member of Free Movement, you not only support the hard-work that goes into maintaining the website, but get access to premium features;

  • Single login for personal use
  • FREE downloads of Free Movement ebooks
  • Access to all Free Movement blog content
  • Access to all our online training materials
  • Access to our busy forums
  • Downloadable CPD certificates

Another in the rich vein of legacy EU law appeals lodged pre-Brexit. FE v HMRC (CHB) [2022] UKUT 4 (AAC) is about the right of Chen parents — the primary carers of self-sufficient EU citizen children — to claim benefits, in this case child benefit.

The appellant FE is Nigerian. His daughter F is an Irish citizen with spina bifida. FE had the right to reside as a Zambrano carer, but this didn’t entitle him to child benefit: for that, he needed to be a Chen carer. To qualify under the Chen case, he would normally need to have “sufficient resources and comprehensive sickness insurance cover”, which the First-tier Tribunal determined that he did not.

But F had, in December 2009, acquired the right of permanent residence under EU law. That complicated the picture:

The issue for me is whether, F having obtained a right of permanent residence by virtue of having previously been a Chen child, the appellant as her primary carer is required to have sufficient resources and comprehensive sickness insurance cover.

The judge’s conclusion, as set out in the headnote, is that the appellant did qualify as a Chen parent until F turned 18, on 16 January 2020:

He had such a right until the latter date as the primary carer of his daughter F when a minor, in order to give useful effect to the right of permanent residence she enjoyed under art.16 of Directive 2004/38.

As such, he was entitled to claim backdated child benefit up to that date, although not after F turned 18.

Relevant articles chosen for you
Picture of CJ McKinney

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.