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Siddiqa v ECO


[2024] EWCA Civ 248

The Appellant was the dependent sister of an EEA citizen. The UK put in provision for such extended family members to stay in the UK post-Brexit if they made an ultimately successful application for an EEA family permit prior to Brexit, a scheme that had been in place for a number of years, pursuant to EU free movement law. The Appellant, instead of applying for an EEA family permit, instead made an application under the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit provisions. This was a different scheme, set up under national law pursuant to the Withdrawal Agreement shortly before Brexit, for direct family members.

The Appellant’s core case was that the Entry Clearance Officer should have treated her claim under the EU Settlement Scheme as an application under the EEA Family Permit scheme. The IMA, the AIRE Centre and Here for Good acted as interveners in this important claim regarding citizens’ rights post-Brexit and the correct scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, holding that the Entry Clearance Officer was entitled to assess her claim under the applicable rules pertaining to the EU Settlement Scheme. Dingemans LJ, giving the leading judgment, found that a strict application of the relevant rules was permissible, and applicants, in circumstances where the requirements were clearly set out on the Government’s website, are expected to make the proper application. There was no error in the finding of fact of the First-Tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal that she had made an EU Settlement Scheme application and not an EEA Family Permit application.

Paul Erdunast acted for the successful Entry Clearance Officer, led by Julia Smyth and with Natasha Jackson, both of Landmark Chambers, instructed by the Government Legal Department.

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