EU citizens naturalised as Bri

EU citizens naturalised as British can bring spouses to the UK

The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) made a ruling that will bring peace of mind to many EU citizens, as they do not need to forfeit their EU freedom of movement.

EU citizens naturalised as Bri

The CJEU ruled that EU citizens who have also taken up British citizenship and are now dual citizens will still have the benefit of the freedom of movement from the EU law. The family members of the EU citizens will still be able to come to the UK under the EU freedom of movement directive.

This is indeed wonderful news for EU citizens in the UK. The elderly dependents, children, and spouses of the EU citizen, who now has British Citizenship, can still join them in the UK, under the more lenient rules of the EU law.

They can thus join the EU/British citizen in the UK under the EU law, and not under the much more strict UK family migration rules.

Furthermore, this ruling will not only benefit family members of EEA nationals who have naturalised as British who want to come to the UK but will also not prejudice the rights of family members who are already in the UK. This was exactly the matter discussed by the Court.

An example of the implication of the above is as follows;

I am a French national, and my South African husband has lived with me for three years and therefore does not yet qualify for Permanent Residence. I become a British citizen. In this scenario, the Home Office’s position was that the SA national would lose his right to reside (and work) in the UK under EU law and would have become subject to the UK immigration legislation. Now, as a result of the new ruling, the SA citizen will be able to get Permanent Residence after two more years provided that he remains the spouse of the EEA/British national.

Also take note that a British citizen who is also a national of an EU state, but has always lived in the UK without exercising their freedom of movement is excluded from this regime and will only be considered British for the purposes of immigration legislation.

Why is the EU Freedom of Movement better than the UK Family Migration rules?

There are a number of reasons why the CJEU judgment is such good news for EU nationals wanting to naturalise as British citizens.

  • It is much easier to qualify to bring your dependents to the UK under the EU freedom of movement directive, rather than under the UK family migration rules.
  • The UK Family Migration rules require a minimum income of £18,600 for sponsoring a spouse or partner. This rises to £22,400 for also sponsoring a child and an additional £2,400 for each further child. The EU freedom of movement directive has no financial requirements.
  • Spouses and dependents of the EU nationals do not need to fulfil any English language requirements under the EU freedom of movement directive.
  • The cost of the EEA Family Permit visa is much cheaper than an application under the UK family migration law. There is also no requirement to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge.
  • The more generous realm of the EU law, class family members more widely than the UK family migration rules. Under the EU law, family members include children up to the age of 21 years old and older if they are financially dependent on the EU National.

Unfortunately, it is not clear how EU citizens living in the UK will exactly be affected after Brexit.

EU citizens can now proceed to apply for their British Citizenship, without the worry that it could affect their right to the EU freedom of movement directive. Breytenbachs Immigration urges EU nationals to proceed with their British Citizenship application, while still being able to bring spouses and dependents with them.

Contact Breytenbachs Immigration Consultants today or fill out the form below.