What are the key changes?
1. Previously, it was only where the family member was a spouse or partner of the British citizen, that they had to have been living together in the other member state before moving to the UK. Now this requirement appears to have been extended to all family members who meet the 'family member' criteria, including elderly parents. See 9 (2).
2. Some apparent change to the Centre of Life requirement, including i) the length of the joint residence (of sponsor and applicant) ii) applicant's integration in the host EEA member state also looked at and iii) whether applicant's first lawful residence in the EU with the British citizen was in that member state (this last point is especially interesting - it sort of touches on the 'deal' David Cameron managed to negotiate with the EU if we didn't Brexit.) See 9 (3).
3. Where the purpose of residence i.e. motive for move to the other EEA member state is determined to be to circumvent the UK immigration rules, applications will be refused. More on this in tomorrow's post. See 9 (4).
4. I'm a little unsure as to what the change are for British citizens who are to be treated as EEA nationals, but as qualified people with the status of workers or jobseekers. It seems to me that jobseekers do need to meet 'Condition B' i.e. provide evidence of jobseeking and have a genuine change of engagement, but Brits status should relate to their activity in the other EEA member state....so I don't really know whether this is a change or how relevant, but a generally all Brits do return and get a job, something I'm not going to dwell on too much at this time.
5. Right of permanent residence, covered in regulation 15. Now I don't know if this is a change...certainly the wording suggests it's a change, but surely, HO cannot even be trying to sweep the rug from under people's feet - not after having lost the HSMP case. I'll explain.
Family members of Brits here under EEA regs get the right to permanent residence after living in the UK for five years (and meeting the criteria of remaining an eligible family member). This should be pretty automatic for holders of the RC. However, now 15 (2) says, in relation to someone who acquires the right of permanent residence:'a family member of an EEA national who is not an EEA national but who has resided in the United Kingdom with the EEA national in accordance with these Regulations for a continuous period of five years', (Underline added for emphasis.)
'these Regulations' suggests all the changes - including those in 1 to 4 above apply...but does that mean that at the PRC stage families will now have to satisfy these changes retrospectively? Will families have to show purpose of residence was not to circumvent? Will they have to show they did live together in the host member state? That their COL was transferred? My gut says that cannot be. But the words suggest otherwise.