MS (British Citizenship; EEA Appeals) Belgium: UTIAC 15 Oct 2019

(1) If, on appeal, an issue arises as to whether the removal of a person (P) from the United Kingdom would be unlawful because P is a British citizen, the tribunal deciding the appeal must make a finding on P’s citizenship; just as the tribunal must do so where the consideration of the public interest question in Part 5A of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 involves finding whether another person falls within the definition of a ‘qualifying child’ or ‘qualifying partner’ by reason of being a British citizen
(2) The fact that P might, in the past, have had a good case to be registered as a British citizen has no material bearing on the striking of the proportionality balance under Article 8(2) of the ECHR. The key factor is not whether P had a good chance of becoming a British citizen, on application, at some previous time but is, rather, the nature and extent of P’s life in the United Kingdom.
(3) If P is prevented by regulation 37 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 from initiating an appeal under those Regulations whilst P is in the United Kingdom, it would defeat the legislative purpose in enacting regulation 37 if P were able, through the medium of a human rights appeal brought within the United Kingdom, to advance the very challenge to the decision taken under the Regulations, which Parliament has ordained can be initiated only from abroad.
(4) In considering the public interest question in Part 5A of the 2002 Act, if P is an EEA national (or family member of an EEA national) who has no basis under the 2016 Regulations or EU law for being in the United Kingdom, P requires leave to enter or remain under the Immigration Act 1971. If P does not have such leave, P will be in the United Kingdom unlawfully for the purpose of section 117B(4) of the 2002 Act during the period in question and, likewise, will not be lawfully resident during that period for the purpose of section 117C(4)(a).
(5) The modest degree of flexibility contained in section 117A(2) of the 2002 Act, recognised by the Supreme Court in Rhuppiah v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] UKSC 58, means that, depending on the facts, P may nevertheless fall to be treated as lawfully in the United Kingdom for the purpose of those provisions, during the time that P was an EU child in the United Kingdom; as in the present case, where P was under the control of his parents; was able to attend school and college without questions being asked as to P’s status; and where no action was taken or even contemplated by the respondent in respect of P or his EU mother.


[2019] UKUT 356 (IAC)




England and Wales


Updated: 01 February 2022; Ref: scu.644462