Centre of Life Test adds to EEA permit obstacles
British nationals can bring their family members to UK under ‘Surinder Singh’ if they can prove that they are exercising EU treaty rights. EEA family applications may be refused for a number of reasons. Foremost amongst them is failure to pass Centre of Life test. EEA qualifying nationality effectively means those countries which are members of the EEA as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which qualifies as a member of the Single Market.
There are however numerous other grounds on which an application may be rejected. A failure to provide evidence of a relationship to an EEA national as the basis for an application will see it dismissed. An application will be rejected if applicant fails to prove himself as a dependent or member of same household. An application will also be refused if the qualifying EEA national family member is not in the UK, or will not be taking up residence in the UK.
Centre of Life
Further adding to the difficulty of avoiding having an EEA application refused is the Centre of Life Test. In essence this seeks to ascertain where a UK citizen hoping to gain an EEA family application for a non-EEA qualified member of their family has moved his Centre of Life to EEA nation. Mainly ‘Centre of Life’ test includes Length of Residency, Primary residence & Degree of Integration in EEA nation. In a world of global movements, this is not always easily established. The rules were last amended in January 2014
There have been cases – e.g. O & B vs the Netherlands – that suggest that a provable Centre of Life may be established in as little as four months – although such a timescale should not be viewed as in any way standard.
There is considerable room for debate as to the centre of Life Test which extends well beyond the simple timespans involved. The test effectively spans the intersection between UK and European law. This means that anyone who has had an EEA application refused on the basis of a Centre of Life Test may well have grounds to appeal that decision if they can prove they do in fact meet the necessary criteria in one or other legislature.
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