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Those travelling to the UK with a Family Permit must be joining the EEA citizen the application was based on


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The Upper Tribunal has found that Appendix EU (Family Permit) requires those coming to the UK under these rules to be joining the relevant EEA national, and that it is not enough to be in the same country and joining their spouse only. The case is MD and Others (‘joining’, Appendix EU Family Permit) [2024] UKUT 00064.

The appellants are siblings, children of Mr Duah. Mr Duah was married to Ms Opoku, a Dutch national. In July 2019 Mr Duah was issued with an EEA Residence Card as the family member of an EEA national. On 22 August 2020 Ms Opoku was granted settled status under Appendix EU. On 8 December 2020 the appellants applied for entry clearance under Appendix EU (Family Permit) and on 5 November 2021 this was granted. The relationship between Mr Duah and Ms Opoku had broken down in the meantime. The appellants arrived in the UK on 2 December 2021 and after being questioned at the border they were served with a ‘Notice of Cancellation of Leave to Enter’.

The issue in the appeal was therefore whether the rules required the appellants to be travelling to the UK for the purpose of joining Ms Opoku (the EEA national). The Upper Tribunal concluded that it did. The headnote says:

The word ‘joining’ in paragraph FP6.(1)(d) of Appendix EU (Family Permit) means that the applicant is being united or reunited with the relevant EEA citizen within six months of the date of the application. It is not sufficient for the applicant to establish travel to the UK to join the relevant EEA citizen or their spouse.

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Sonia Lenegan

Sonia Lenegan is an experienced immigration, asylum and public law solicitor. She has been practising for over ten years and was previously legal director at the Immigration Law Practitioners' Association and legal and policy director at Rainbow Migration. Sonia is the Editor of Free Movement.