In a judgment handed down on 4 November 2015, the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal against a decision of the Upper Tribunal concerning the rights of EU citizens to bring non-EU family members into the UK. In doing so, it clarified the scope of the term “family member” in EU law as it applies to adoptive relationships, in particular those with an inter-country element.
The case concerned an application by an Algerian child (“SM”) to enter the UK as the family member of a French national who had assumed guardianship of her under Algerian law. Rights of entry and residence are conferred on EU citizens and their family members by Directive 2004/38/EC (“the Citizenship Directive”), as implemented in the UK by the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“the Regulations”). SM’s application had been refused on the basis that, since the Algerian arrangement was not recognised as an adoption under UK law, she did not qualify as a family member for the purposes of the Citizenship Directive and the Regulations.
The Upper Tribunal had allowed SM’s appeal, holding that the 2006 Regulations needed to be interpreted in conformity with the Article 8 of the ECHR and that, adopting such a construction, SM qualified as a family member of her sponsor.
The Court of Appeal overturned the Upper Tribunal’s decision. It held that:
Ben Lask acted for the Entry Clearance Officer.
To read the full judgment please click here Entry Clearance Officer v SM (Algeria)