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Romanian Family wins UK Immigration Appeal against Yellow Card and Blue Card Refusal | Immigration Matters

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A Romanian Family living in London has won an immigration appeal in the First Tier Tribunal against the UK Border Agency, which had refused a Blue Card and revoked the Yellow Card of the main breadwinner, Bison Management UK reports. 

The family of 5, who prefer not to be named, consisted of Husband, Wife and three Children aged 20, 19 and 13, had no choice but to launch an immigration appeal after they were all refused blue or yellow cards by the UK Border Agency.

The Husband had held a self-employed ‘yellow’ registration card since 2008 (exercising his Article 39 Treaty Rights), and had obtained ‘blue’ registration cards for his dependant wife and children after they joined him the following year. 

Based on advice from a well meaning but unqualified ‘adviser’, the yellow card holder’s Wife applied for a residence certificate in her own right, separate from her Husband’s card, based her right to reside under EEA Regulations 2006.

The UK Border Agency not only refused the application, but revoked her Husband’s yellow card and all the blue cards for the entire family.

One of the reasons for the refusal was that the UK Border Agency were not satisfied that her Husband was genuinely working on a self-employed basis, despite being registered as self-employed in the building trade with HMRC and paying his taxes diligently for almost 4 years. 

Because she was refused and her Husband’s employment status brought into question, the whole family were deemed to be no longer ‘qualified’ under regulation 6 of the 2006 EEA Regulations and their residence cards fell like dominoes. 

The harsh decision came as a shock to the family, which had successfully started a new life in the UK and also had a ‘right to a family life’ under Article 8. They worked hard and never claimed benefits. 

An appeal against the refusal was lodged to the First Tier Tribunal in June 2012 by their immigration advisers, Bison Management UK and a hearing was set six weeks later. 

After preparing the case, Jerry Turner of Bison Management instructed leading Barrister Samina Iqbal to act the family at the hearing at Taylor House on 18 July 2012 before Judge Plumptre. 

A Home Office Presenting Officer (HOPO) defended the refusal at the hearing, but Miss Iqbal presented a brilliant case and the appeal was ‘allowed’ by the Immigration Judge on the spot. 

In a complex legal argument, Miss Iqbal had submitted that because the main Appellant’s Husband had been ‘subject to the Accession (Immigration Worker Authorisation) Regulations 2006’ and had ‘validly completed 12 months continuous legal employment’, he should thereafter be subject to EEA Regulations like other EU members. 

The Judge said that although the Appellant’s original application was ‘erroneous’ and should not have been made, the refusal decision based on her Husband’s working status was wrong.

The Judge ordered that all registration cards be reinstated. The UK Border Agency complied with this order at the end of September, much to the relief of the Romanian family. 

On 1 October 2012, they wrote to Bison thanking the team: 

Thank you God and your lawyer team 

Our Non-dependent Blue Cards have just come through and I am writing to express our sincere thanks for the great professional work performed by you and your team.  

You will recall that the situation was that my family and I had failed to understand that the UKBA (Home Office) considered that my self-employment was really disguised employment. And then because I had not addressed their concerns and instead followed the advice of my well-meaning (but ultimately wrong) friends, it reached the stage of my Yellow Card being withdrawn and cancelled together with my family’s dependent Blue Cards.  

Thanks to the help of your team, instead of being required to leave the UK, we can stay and furthermore my new Non-dependent Blue Card means that I can now work as an employee for larger organisations! 

I thank Cynthia Barker for her patience in listening to the complexity of the situation and arranging the assistance of Jerry Turner and Samina Iqbal to represent us. 

The judge described his bundle as being “substantial and well-prepared” and also appreciated its “helpful skeleton argument”. I am very grateful for his professionalism in doing this. 

I also request that you pass on my thanks to Ms Iqbal who was my Barrister. She is a star Barrister between Barristers at the Tribunal. I must admit, that my English was not good enough to fully understand how she did what she did, but it is clear to me that was a star for us! 

I will recommend you forward. 

I wish you all the best, and thank God for leading me to you all.

Home Secretary Theresa May is considering a number of wide-ranging restrictions on the European Union’s free movement of workers,  including access to the UK for dependants of EU citizens, and fresh curbs on access to benefits for EU citizens.

UK work restrictions on Bulgarian and Romanian nationals have been extended until 2014. Meanwhile, Romanians and Bulgarians are being forced to lodge immigration appeals against unlawful Yellow Card and Blue Card refusals by the UK Border Agency.

See also:

Yellow or Blue Card Refused – Appeal or Reapply?

Free Movement of EU nationals explained

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

Is the EU’s ‘Free Movement’ dream over?

European Commission warning to UK on Free Movement rights and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance remains unanswered

New Government funded courses available for Bulgarian and Romanian EU students

Employment restrictions for Bulgarians and Romanians extended until end of 2013

Romanian Gangmaster Sara Recruitment loses licence for self-employment sham

How Romanians and Bulgarians working illegally without Yellow Card or papers can legalise their status in the UK

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Tier 2, Tier 4, applying for university if your college has closed down, Visa, ILR, Settlement, Citizenship, Dependant Visa or an appeal against a UK Border Agency or British Embassy refusal, or if you have been waiting for a reply from the Home Office for longer than a year, please email: 

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk for free immigration news updates.

Majestic College offer special packages for EU students. They also have a number of employers looking for staff right now and are willing to employ Bulgarians and Romanians.

For more information call Joanna on 0208 207 or email: info@majesticcollege.org

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