Amidst increasing uncertainty within the UK political establishment on a coherent Brexit strategy and with EU telling Britain to ‘settle the accounts’ and speed up Brexit progress – Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier says he asks why there is still major uncertainty over UK’s approach on key issues.
Here are few heart rending stories of actual families that are separated by the Home Office delays in decision making on entry clearance applications for family members of EU/EEA nationals who have non EU/non EEA spouses and family members.
Ramesh Chauhan is not a happy man, his entry clearance application has been pending for 5 months as of Sep 2017.
Ramesh Chauhan a Portugal national residing in the UK and employed in the merchant navy has been waiting for his wife of 26 years to join him in the UK – Mr. Chauhan’s wife has been based in India and she has traveled with him to various locations when he has been employed as a Merchant seaman. The entry clearance application has been pending for 5 months as of Sep 2017 with the Home Office stating, “further checks are being carried out”
Whilst it is understandable to pursue immigration control to ensure that the national security interest of the member state are not compromised, we urge the Entry Clearance officer to put greater reliance on ECJ’s judgment in Metock and Others v Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform  QB 318, a case decided under Directive 2004/38.
“…. The right of all Union citizens to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States should, if it is to be exercised under objective conditions of freedom and dignity, be also granted to their family members, irrespective of nationality…. As long as the beneficiaries of the right of residence do not become an unreasonable burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State they should not be denied entry.”
Niket Shah shares his experience of being separated from his Portugal national wife and young baby.
In Metock, the ECJ used the recitals to the Directive to support the proposition that the Directive was not simply a consolidating measure or a tidying up exercise, but was intended to ‘strengthen the right of free movement’, and that consequently the rights it provided should not be applied restrictively family rights.
If you have a family member whose entry clearance application as EEA Family Permit member is pending with the Home Office, we would love to hear you story and add your voice to the many that we are putting together now. You can call us on +91 98191 27002 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org