The recent case of Amsar (Isle of Man: free movement)  UKUT 12 IAC involved a Sri Lankan national, Mr Amsar, who was formerly married to a Latvian national. Under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006, a family member could apply for a residence document if they previously had the right to reside in the UK as the family member of an EEA national who either had a permanent right of residence in the UK or was a ‘qualified person’ exercising treaty rights in the UK. A qualified person means a worker, student, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or a job seeker.
The Upper Tribunal was asked to consider whether an EEA national (i.e. Mr Amsar’s former wife) could be considered as exercising her treaty rights in the UK whilst working on the Isle of Man. The Tribunal decided that the answer was ‘no’ – the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands are neither part of the UK nor members of the EU and only benefit from a limited relationship with the EU. Further, their relationship with the European Union does not allow for them to benefit from EU free movement rules.
Accordingly, the Tribunal found that Mr Amsar did not have a retained right of residence in the UK, as his former spouse was not exercising her treaty rights in the UK for the purposes of the 2006 Regulations. He was therefore not entitled to be issued a residence document on this basis.
We have previously advised that qualified EEA nationals (and their family members) who have been resident in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years or more and wish to obtain British citizenship should consider applying for Permanent Residence now. This recent ruling means that the relevant EEA national will not be able to count any period of time that they have spent on the Isle of Man or Channel Islands towards their period of continuous residence.
Gherson has extensive experience of dealing with matters relating to EEA nationals and free movement rules. Should you require professional advice regarding any application or your personal circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.