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Creative argument on extended family members’ rights shot down by Court of Appeal


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In Fatima v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2019] EWCA Civ 124, the appellants tried to argue that free movement rules granting some rights to dependent relatives of EU citizens apply where the relatives are dependent on the EU citizen’s spouse instead.

The EEA Regulations 2006 say that someone qualifies as an “extended family member” if he or she “has joined the EEA national in the United Kingdom and continues to be dependent upon him”. The 2016 version of the regulations say “continues to be dependent upon the EEA national”. Lord Justice Hickinbottom held that, even before this wording tweak, the regulation in question was

clear on its face: its scope is limited to those who have joined an EEA national in the UK and continue to be dependent “upon him”, i.e. upon the EEA national… the dependency has to be on the relevant Union citizen.

The case involved a Portuguese wife and Pakistani husband living in the UK. The husband’s Pakistani relatives argued that they had EU law rights as extended family members of the wife because of their dependency on the husband. Put another way,

regulation 8(2)(c) of the 2006 Regulations… also applied where the dependency was on a non-EEA national spouse of an EEA national if that spouse provided relevant resources.

In support of this contention, Ramby de Mello (representing the family) offered the recent cases of C-218/14 Singh and C-89/17 Banger. But he got no change out of Hickinbottom LJ, who declared himself “entirely unpersuaded by these submissions”. No shame in losing on a creative argument, though.

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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.