Immigrants: EU Nationals

Home Office written question – answered on 22nd November 2018.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, with reference to the suitability criterion for Settled Status that the applicant must not be subject to a removal decision under the EEA Regulations on the grounds of their non-exercise or misuse of rights under Directive 2004/38/EC, whether his Department will check whether (a) each applicant for Settled Status is exercising their rights under Directive 2004/38/EC or (b) it is those subject to a removal decision before they make their application for Settled Status who will be refused on suitability grounds.

Photo of Caroline Nokes Caroline Nokes The Minister for Immigration

The Statement of Intent on the EU Settlement Scheme published on 21 June 2018 made clear that the UK has decided, as a matter of domestic policy, to be more generous than the draft Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union in certain respects. In particular, those applying under the scheme will not generally be required to show that they are exercising their rights under the Free Movement Directive (2004/38/EC). This means that an applicant will not be refused status under the scheme because for example they are not economically active, their employment is not full-time or they do not hold comprehensive sickness insurance.

However, the draft Withdrawal Agreement does not protect those who are not exercising or are misusing free movement rights. This means that, while free movement rules continue to operate to the end of the planned implementation period, there will remain scope, as a matter of law, for a person to be removed from the UK on those grounds. It is logical that this is reflected in the Immigration Rules for the EU Settlement Scheme.

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