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UNITED KINGDOM: Changes to the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006

On November 8, 2012, the Immigration (European Economic Area [EEA]) Regulations 2006 changed. The amended regulations provide for the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK and also confirm the criteria for rights to permanent residence.

The key changes to the regulations include:

  • Removal of the requirement in regulation 8(2(a) that an extended family member must have resided in a country in which the EEA national also resides;
  • Amendments to confer rights of entry and residence on the primary caretaker of a British citizen. This is based on the European Court of Justice judgment in Ruiz Zambrano (this means that those who acquire this derivative right may not acquire permanent residence in the UK, or to sponsor family members in the UK once they have acquired a right to reside); 
  • Amendments to regulation 26 so that a person claiming to be the durable partner of an EEA national may only appeal where he or she has provided sufficient evidence of the relationship with that EEA national;
  • Amendments to enable the Secretary of State to accept alternative evidence of identification and nationality when a person is unable to provide a valid ID card or passport due to circumstances beyond his or her control.

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