As a direct access immigration barrister based in London I follow the news and relevant blogs and thought the following articles worth a mention. The Guardian and FreeMovement.org.uk have recently reported that UK citizenship had been given in error to at least 100 children of EU nationals.
The applicants are nationals of states that joined the EU in 2004. At the time these countries joined the EU their citizens were allowed to work in the UK but were required to register under the Worker Registration Scheme for statistical purposes. According to Home Office policy failure to register under the scheme means the person was working unlawfully at the time and this period of work would not count for the purposes of obtaining permanent residence. Permanent residence is in turn required in order to be eligible to apply for British nationality.
A child born in the UK automatically becomes a British citizen if at least one parent has been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent residence at the time of birth. A child can also be registered as a British national at a later stage if one or both parents obtain the required status.
The problem seems to be that in certain cases the children’s parents had been granted permanent residence in error as they had failed to register under the Worker Registration Scheme. This in turn renders the children’s grant of British nationality unlawful.
What you can do if you are affected
Many of the affected children may now be eligible for registration as British nationals as their parents would have completed 5 years of qualifying work after the Worker Registration Scheme ended on 30 April 2011. This will not be the case, however, where the parent has been jobless more recently.
If you are unsure as to your or your child’s status, you can contact us to book a consultation with a specialist direct access immigration barrister in London in person, over the phone or via Skype. We are also happy to assist further by providing legal representation with the process for registration as a British national.
Paul Turner is a highly regarded direct access immigration barrister and is the head of Imperium Chambers, Grays Inn Buildings, Grays Inn, WC1r 5ET, he also practises from Goldsmith Chambers, the chambers of Anthony Metzer QC and a door tenant at 39 Park Square Leeds LS1 2NU and is licensed by the Bar Council to litigate and to provide advice and representation directly to the public.