It has been ruled by the Court of Justice for the European Union that EU citizens who settle in the UK and become British citizens by naturalisation should retain their rights to freedom of movement once the UK officially leaves the EU. The rights of EU citizens currently living in the UK has been a concern since the referendum in June 2016, and the lack of information from the Home Office has been frustrating and confusing to those currently living and working in the UK.
However, this case brings significant clarity to EU citizens who have chosen to go through the naturalisation process and become British citizens. Furthermore, the case highlights that those citizens who still hold dual nationality will retain their right to bring their non-EU spouses to come to the UK and settle here without the need to make an application to sponsor them.
The case in question concerned a Spanish woman who had naturalised as a British citizen and held dual British and Spanish citizenship. She then married an Algerian national, who moved to the UK to live with her. However, the Home Office requested that she meet the stringent requirements of and pay the substantial fee for a spousal visa whereas a Spanish national would have been able to simply bring their spouse to the UK.
The ruling in this case made it clear that the Algerian national’s rights were protected under Article 21 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU which confirms that every EU national has the right to freedom of movement.
The court also ruled that the Home Office had been incorrectly refusing the right to freedom of movement for EU citizens who had been naturalised in the UK since at least 2012. This means that EU nationals who have naturalised as a British citizen and made an application to the Home Office and been refused should consider making a fresh application as the Home Office will now be required to reconsider these applications and change their decisions based on the ruling of this case.
If you or somebody that you know would like more information on this ruling or help with making a fresh application to the Home Office for EU applications that have been refused, please call JMR Solicitors on 0161 491 3933 or email us at email@example.com.
For more information about the services that we offer visit www.jmrsolicicitors.com for full details.