EU free movement applicants can no longer enjoy priority treatment if they’ve been waiting for three months, under revised rules by the Home Office.

According to the Immigration Regulations 2006, on receipt of the application: “The Secretary of State shall immediately issue the applicant with a certificate of application for the residence card and the residence card should be issued no later than six months.”

New rules instructing caseworkers by the Home Office also omits any mention of the department’s legal obligation to make decisions within six months of receiving the application, according to immigration lawyer Colin Yeo.

Also what appears to have been scrapped is the right to request an EU free movement application be given priority if the applicant has already waited three months. This is to protect people who need their documents to gain work, secure housing and travel.

However, modernised guidance, which has replaced The European Casework Instructions, has no mention of the three month requirement. New policy said key considerations in deciding whether to prioritise an application now applies to ministers and senior officials, rather than the length of time.

Other than this criteria new rules for fast tracking an application also includes if a case has been mishandled or overlooked and refusing the priority is likely to create more work in having to justify it.

Disclaimer: The material contained in this article is for general information only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional for advice regarding their particular circumstances.
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