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On 16 July 2012, the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 did change.

The amended regulations will set out the rights of EEA nationals and their family members to enter and reside in the UK and will also confirm the criteria for rights to permanent residence.

The key changes to the regulations include:

  • new rights of residence;
  • restrictions on free movement rights;
  • amendments to reflect current operational practice;
  • amendments to implement agreements reached with the European Commission or stakeholders in relation to the UK’s implementation of Directive 2004/38/EC;
  • the extension of refusal powers based on public policy, public health, and public security; and
  • amended appeal rights.

The regulations have been amended to give effect to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ). The court establishes new rights to enter and reside in the UK and restricts the terms on which free movement rights can be exercised.

Rights to reside in the UK on the basis of ECJ judgments do not stem directly from Directive 2004/38/EC, therefore they are referred to as ‘derivative rights’. This means that the recognition of this right by the UK is not equal to rights under the directive.

This also means that those who acquire derivative rights are not eligible to acquire permanent residence in the UK, or to sponsor family members in to the UK once they have acquired a right to reside.

These changes will affect:

  • children of EEA national workers or former workers where the child is in education in the UK;
  • primary carers of self-sufficient EEA national children;
  • primary carers of children of EEA national workers or former workers where that child is in education in the UK; and
  • dependent children under the age of 18 of the primary carers in each of the categories listed above.

You should seek legal advice if you believe that your immigration status will be affected.

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