Under the Directive 2004/38/EC, an EEA national, along with their family members, have a right to move freely within the UK and other Member States. However, if you have become a dual EEA/UK citizen it is important to be aware that there have been changes made in the UK that may make it difficult for your family members to rely on your EEA nationality for permanent residency purposes.
DEFINING EEA NATIONAL
The Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 were implemented on 16th July 2012 and reworked the definition of an EEA national to mean one ‘who is not also a United Kingdom national’. This new amendment prevents any person who holds British citizenship and is a national of another EEA member state from relying on the terms of the Free Movement Directive in terms of their family member’s application.
Prior to 16th July 2012, there was no such restriction to dual UK/EEA nationals relying upon their EEA nationality to create rights for their family members to reside under the regulations. However, in the 2008 case McCarthy v Secretary of State for the Home Department  EWCA Civ 641 (11 June 2008), the ECJ decided that a person who holds the nationality of the host Member State and has never exercised freedom of movement rights cannot benefit from the terms of the Free Movement Directive. This is regardless of whether or not they hold dual nationality with another EEA member state.
APPLYING THE EARLY DEFINITION
Does this mean that any EEA national who has decided to naturalise while living in the UK can no longer act as a sponsor for their family members under the Directive? Not necessarily.
In attempts to avoid imposing these new requirements to those who had previously acted in reliance on the earlier definition, transitional provisions were made. These provisions outline conditions under which an applicant may still rely on the previous definition of an EEA national. If a family member of a dual national can meet one of the three conditions, they will still fall within the scope of the Directive. Even more importantly, a policy has been published which indicates that it is possible to meet these conditions when the EEA national acquired British citizenship after the new regulations were sanctioned.
Should you require further advice on applying for permanent residency for your family members, or any other immigration issue, please feel free to contact Alrose Legal on +44(0)2035812620 or firstname.lastname@example.org