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Dependency assumed for parents with EU Settlement Scheme family permits


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A ‘dependent parent’ already admitted under the EU Settlement Scheme can get leave to remain without having to show dependency, the Upper Tribunal has held in Rexhaj (extended family members: assumed dependency) [2023] UKUT 00161 (IAC).

If applying before 30 June 2021, the parent of an EU national or of their spouse could obtain entry clearance as a ‘dependent parent’ without actually needing to prove they were dependent. Appendix EU (Family Permit) to the Immigration Rules said dependency would just be assumed. A parent who wants to stay longer than six months then needs to apply for leave to remain under Appendix EU. That Appendix does require dependency to be proven, unless the person has previously been ‘granted limited leave to enter or remain under this Appendix as a dependent parent’.

Ms Rexhaj was in this situation. The Home Office and First-tier Tribunal told her she needed to show dependency, because her leave to enter had been granted under Appendix EU (Family Permit), not under Appendix EU.

She appealed, and the Upper Tribunal concluded this was wrong. Its reasoning turned on the legal distinction between entry clearance (a visa granted before travel) and leave to enter (permission to enter the UK granted by an immigration officer on arrival). On a proper reading, Appendix EU (Family Permit) only governs entry clearance. Leave to enter is granted at the border under Appendix EU. Someone like Ms Rexhaj, therefore, has leave ‘under this Appendix’ and qualifies for an extension without needing to show dependency.

As the UT commented, the post-Brexit rules ‘do not appear to have been drafted with future (or even present) clarity in mind’. Ms Rexhaj won’t be the only person wrongly told to prove dependency after not having to do so in her first application. This decision provides welcome clarification.

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Deborah Revill

Deborah Revill is a specialist immigration barrister at One Pump Court. She works in all areas of immigration law, with a particular interest in Article 8 cases involving Appendix FM, s117B(6), and deportation.


One Response

  1. Thanks to the UT for stating the most obvious to the HO and FTT. its only taken 2 years from the end of when these assumed dependency cases came to an end for clarity to be given. often makes you wonder how the Home Office can get things so spectacularly wrong when they they write the rules and the accompanying guidance.

    i have had many very difficult and terse conversations with the EUSS team trying to explain what ‘assumed dependency’ meant. no more need to browbeat anyone anymore!