Factors to consider in EU law shared household cases

The headnote to Sohrab and Others (continued household membership) Pakistan [2022] UKUT 157 (IAC) provides a useful guide to the assessment of EU law extended family member cases based on shared membership of a household. It could perhaps make things clearer by spelling out more explicitly that “member of household” does not absolutely require continuous co-habitation.

1. A person seeking recognition as an “extended family member” (“EFM”) under regulation 8(2) of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 must establish a relevant connection with their EEA sponsor in the country of origin, and in the UK.

2. The relevant connection may be through being a dependent of the EEA national sponsor, or through being a member of the EEA national’s household. The relevant connection may change between the country of origin and the UK, as held in Dauhoo (EEA Regulations – reg 8(2)) [2012] UKUT 79 (IAC). 

3. There must not be a break in dependence or household membership from the country of origin to the UK, other than a de minimis interruption.

4. To be a member of an EEA national’s household requires a sufficient degree of physical and relational proximity to the EEA national through living in the household of which the EEA national is the head, living together as a unit, with a common sense of belonging. There should be a genuine assumption of responsibility by the EEA national for the EFM. Questions of the commencement of the assumption of responsibility and the duration of dependency or household membership are relevant.

5. An applicant may, in principle, establish a relevant connection to an EEA national in the UK through being a member of the EEA national’s household in the UK before the EEA national has arrived here themselves. Such cases are likely to involve putative EFMs who were already members of the EEA sponsor’s household in the country of origin.

6. It will be a question of fact and degree as to whether a person living away from the EEA sponsor’s household is to be regarded as having left that household. Relevant factors are likely to include:

(a) the duration of the separation;

(b) the nature and the quality of the links maintained with the household during the extended family member’s time living away;

(c) whether there was an intention to continue life together as a household, with the EEA national as the head, at the time the putative EFM left; 

(d) the extent to which the departing members of the household have established their own distinct household elsewhere;

(e) the extent to which there remains a genuine assumption of responsibility (including financial responsibility) by the EEA sponsor for the putative EFMs during the period of physical separation, and any corresponding dependence (including financial dependence) on the part of the EFM;

(f) the immigration capacity in which the EFM has resided in the UK ahead of the EEA sponsor’s arrival.

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