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Important changes for family members of EEA nationals

07 July 2012

The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 will change on 16 July 2012. The key changes to the regulations include are new rights of residence, restrictions on free movement rights, extension of refusal powers based on public policy, public health, and public security and amended appeal rights.

The changes restrict the ability to acquire permanent residence for non-EEA family members who exercise their  "derivative rights"  in the UK, in particular:

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

In addition, following the ECJ judgment in McCarthy (C-434/09), the definition of “EEA national” has now been amended.  This case confirmed that the provisions of the Directive are not applicable to an EEA national who has never exercised his right of free movement, who has always resided in a Member State of which he is a national and who is also a national of another Member State.

However, on a positive note Regulation 12  has been amended to allow a person with a retained right of residence to be able to obtain an EEA family permit.

EEA regulations are a particular complex area of  immigration law and we would recommend any prospective applicant to carefully read the guidance found on the UKBA website or book a consultation with an experienced immigration consultant.


Migra & Co is a private immigration company, regulated by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC), reference number F200900038. This website is not a government website and as such, we are not linked or affiliated with the UK Visas and Immigration. We offer expert legal advice and flexible tailored solutions to both private and corporate clients to ensure that their immigration needs are met. If you wish to download or prepare a UK visa application form, you can do so free of charge by visiting the Official UKVI website.