Dear immigration board users,
Reading through the internet various different things about the UK and its rules and regulations, I am finally here on this forum. I hope someone here can help me.
Just a bit of background: I am a UK national living and working in Germany with my dependent mother. I acquired British citizenship last year by naturalization. My father passed away two years back and since then my mother has been left all by herself. She applied for a visit visa to visit me and my siblings in the UK in between the time after my dad's death and me acquiring British nationality. This was refused, citing reasons that if my mother visits the UK she will not return back. This is untrue. The simple concept is that how could she remain in the UK on a visit visa without becoming illegal in the UK. And who wants to risk that?
Anyway, after acquiring UK citizenship, I got a job in Germany and moved out of the UK. I decided to pursue the EEA route and bring my mother over to Germany. After that, we applied via the usual process to get her EEA Residence card for family of EEA citizen.
It has been a few months, approx. 5 months, and now as Christmas is around the corner, a family gathering would be very desirable. I really have no intentions to going to the UK with my mother for a visit, and remaining there with her. I have a rented apartment here in Germany, a job here, a potential girlfriend, and of course bank account, mobile contracts etc. I am quite invested here actually. But when I made an application to the UK for a EEA Family Permit for my mother to visit the UK with me, it was denied. The reasons given were that I was trying to circumvent UK immigration laws for my mother and bring her to the UK, and then live in the UK. They also said that I did not move my "center of life" in Germany.
The letter from the Home Office is as follows:
• On XX/XX/2017 you applied for a European Economic Area (EEA) family permit to facilitate your admission to the UK, Au official has considered your application on behalf of the Secretary of State.
• A non-EEA national who is the spouse or civil partner or other direct family member of a British citizen may have a right of admission in the UK under European Union law if certain conditions are met. The conditions are set out in regulations 9 and 11 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 ('the EEA Regulations). The conditions for issuing an EEA family permit are set out in regulation 12 of the EEA Regulations.
• You have applied for an EEA family permit on the basis that your British citizen sponsor, XXXX, is residing and exercising their right to free movement in Germany immediately before returning to the UK (hereafter referred to as 'the EEA host country). All the evidence provided has been carefully considered to determine whether you have a right of admission to the UK under the EEA Regulations and should be issued a family permit.
• It is accepted that your sponsor is a British citizen and that you are related as claimed.
• However, regulation 9(4)(a) of the EEA Regulations provides that regulation 9 does not apply where the purpose of the residence in the EEA host country is or was as a means for circumventing any immigration laws applying to non-EEA nationals to which the family member would otherwise be subject (such as any applicable requirement under the Immigration Act 1971 to have leave to enter or remain in the UK).
• Consideration has therefore been given to the purpose of you and your British citizen sponsor's residence in the EEA host country. Whilst I am aware that your previous immigration history in the UK is not grounds alone to refuse your application for an EEA Family Permit, I am satisfied that, when considered in conjunction with your statements and the documents submitted with this application, an important factor which is directly relevant to the centre of life test, and in considering whether this application is an attempt to circumvent the UK Immigration Rules.
• In considering whether you and your British citizen sponsor's residence in the EEA host country is or was genuine, relevant factors include: (a) whether the centre of the British citizen's life transferred to the EEA host country (b) the length of the British citizen and the family member's joint residence in the EEA host country (c) the nature and quality of the British citizen and the family member's accommodation in the EEA host country, and whether it is or was the British citizen's principal residence (d) the degree of the British citizen and the family member's integration in the EEA host country (e) whether the family member's first lawful residence in the EU with the British citizen was in the EEA host country
• It is noted that you previously applied for a visitor visa on XX/XX/2016 to visit your children in the UK. Your application was refused on XX/XX/2016 because the Entry Clearance Officer was not satisfied with your intentions in wishing to travel to the UK were as stated.
• At the time of your refused application, your sponsor held XXXXX(non-UK/EEA) nationality. It was further noted that since becoming a British citizen and being issued a British passport in XX-XX-2017, your sponsor moved to Germany where you joined them in XX-XX-2017. You have been resident in Germany for 5 months; stating that you are financially supported by your sponsor and wish to accompany them to the UK for 9 days.
• Having considered all of the evidence and information provided in support of your application, and applying the civil law standard of the balance of probabilities, it is not accepted that you and your British citizen sponsor's residence in the EEA host country was genuine. Taking into consideration, your immigration history and the length of time spent in Germany; it is considered that the purpose of you and your British citizen sponsor's residence in the EEA host country was as a means for circumventing the UK's domestic Immigration Rules or other immigration law.
For the reasons explained above, it is not accepted that you have a right of admission to the UK under EU law as the family member of a British citizen and your application for an EEA family permit is hereby refused.
Please note that your entitlement to enter the UK has solely been assessed on the basis of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (as amended) and the evidence and information you provided in support of your application. If you wish to go to the UK on another basis, for example under the Immigration Rules, then please visit the Home Office website at ww-w.qov.uk/uk-visas-immigration and submit an appropriate application for consideration.
Alternatively, if you consider that you have a right of admission to the UK as a matter of EU law, and are in a position to submit the necessary information to support your application for a family permit to facilitate your admission to the UK, you may wish to submit a further application for consideration. "
So, my question is: is this decision from Home Office legally permitted based on EEA rules and regulations? We just asked for EEA family permit visit visa for my dependent mother, and they cited "centre of life" not being met, and also that I am attempting to "circumvent UK immigration laws."
Can someone with similar experiences or some knowledge in this regard advice?
Personally, I feel quite stressed out, sad and deflated having to battle this time and time again. Am I the only one who feels it is inhumane to scatter family around as individual persons when one has children and spouse/dependent parent living apart? This whole process of getting family members to be with each other, should be a basic human right, and not an immigration tit-for-tat.
I am considering consulting an immigration lawyer to discuss this refusal decision.
Thank you for your kindness.