Free Movement Rights Used More by EEA Nationals | Hudson McKenzie

Free Movement Rights Used More by EEA Nationals

November 7, 2018 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, Taxation

EEA Nationals and their family dependents are more likely to use their Free Movement Rights, following from a recent case decision.

The Regulations that came into force on 24th July 2018 following last year’s case of Lounes v SSHD C-165/16 made an important amendment in light of Brexit for EEA nationals who wish to opt to become British and be able to make use of their Free Movement Rights.

This case concerned an EEA national who, after arriving in the UK, obtained permanent residency by exercising her treaty rights and then obtaining British citizenship. Following from this, she wanted to transfer her Free Movement Rights to her spouse.

The initial application had been refused by the Home Office, but the European Court of Justice determined that this is not compatible with EU law. The Court held that when an EEA national has exercised their treaty rights in the UK and has naturalised as a British citizen, their treaty rights could be transferred to their non-EEA family member, as long as they can show that they were a qualified person during that period and continued to be.

However, it is important to note that it cannot be extended to those individuals who were British and acquired EEA nationality or those who have never exercised their Free Movement Rights.

The new amendment introduced several positive measures, as well as effectively meaning that EEA nationals are not losing their Free Movement Rights once they become British. However, this is a complex area of law and we recommend that legal advice is sought.

If you would like to discuss this article further or have any general legal enquiries, please contact one of our highly qualified solicitors on 020 3318 5794 or via email at

Author: Vaida Lukaite