New Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules
By Danielle Cohen Immigration Law Solicitor LinkedinDanielle Cohen has over 20 years of experience as a lawyer and a reputation for offering professional, honest and expert advice.
Three new Appendices are created: Appendix Settlement – Family life, Appendix – Private Life, and Appendix – Relationship with a Partner. These changes will take effect from 6th April 2022 to 22nd August 2022.
The Reformed Private Life Route introduces a number of changes for children and young people including bringing the concession on early settlement introduced on 20th October 2021 into the Rules. It means children and young adults who have spent half their lives in the UK can be granted settlement after five years qualifying period rather than 10 years. This allows for a child who was born in the UK and who has spent the first seven years here to qualify for immediate settlement.
The reformed private life route also clarifies that when an adult has permission on this route, their children born in the UK during the parents’ time on the route can qualify for permission as the parents’ dependents. These Rules allow for increased flexibility for applicants to count time on other routes to settlement towards their qualifying period, meaning when a person’s circumstances change, the qualifying period for settlement does not have to start again.
The changes also ensure an applicant with a criminal conviction resulting in a sentence of 12 months or more cannot qualify for settlement and if a person breached other suitability rules, but has nevertheless been granted permission to stay in the UK, they must complete 10 years as a qualifying period and at least five years showing compliance since the breach, before they can qualify for settlement.
Changes were also made in respect of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), and of particular interest to us, are the changes which enable dual British and EA citizens who exercised free movement rights in the UK before acquiring British citizenship, and who have retained their EA nationality of origin, known as the Lounes dual national, to sponsor relevant family members under the EUSS and EUSS Family Permit in some circumstances.
Six years after the 2016 Regulations took effect, the Court ruled that the UK approach, to request EU students and self-sufficient individuals to have private comprehensive medical insurance, was wrong. The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that demanding comprehensive sickness insurance was wrong all along.
The case is C-247-2020 VI v Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs. The Court of Justice said that member states could theoretically set conditions for EU nationals to have private insurance before allowing them to register with the NHS but the UK never imposed any such conditions and if it did, it would not have complied with the principles of proportionality to impose such conditions. It is regrettable that it took so long for this decision to come given the hundreds and thousands of EA nationals that were wrongly refused Welfare Benefits, Housing Assistance because it was deemed that they did not exercise treaty rights. European nationals were denied protection against deportation on the basis that they were not settled in the UK as they did not have private comprehensive medical insurance for the amount of years necessary. Many students and self-sufficient nationals have spent money on private health insurance for themselves and their families when they did not need to do so and many people were wrongly refused permanent residence rights especially after Brexit.
This is not the first time that the United Kingdom has been found to be in the wrong when it comes to European nationals. In Gubeladze  a Supreme Court found the Worker’s Registration Scheme applied to citizens of the new EU member states mostly Eastern Europeans, was unlawful in its entirety from 2009 to 2011.