Good news for our EEA Clients and their Children


Following the case of Roehrig, Breytenbachs have wonderful news for our EEA clients and their children.

The UK Government has announced a new bill which will confirm how British nationality law is applied to people born in the UK to EEA parents between 1 January 1983 and 1 October 2000. Once the new legislation is passed, children born in the UK between 1 January 1983 and 1 October 2000 to an EEA/Swiss parent who was exercising Treaty rights (but did not hold indefinite leave to remain) should be able to apply for a British passport directly. Even though they never applied for a passport before or renewed an existing passport.

It has long been the Home Office’s policy to confer British citizenship to children born in the UK between 1 January 1983 and 1 October 2000 if at least one parent was an EEA national who was exercising Treaty Rights in the UK. EEA nationals were deemed to exercise Treaty Rights if they were mainly working, self-employed or self-sufficient in the UK. Those who were exercising Treaty Rights were considered to be settled in the UK. 

On 2 October 2000, the Home Office withdrew this policy and published new guidance stating that EEA nationals had to apply for indefinite leave to remain to be deemed settled.

The case of Roehrig, delivered by the High Court in January 2023, confirmed that the restrictive approach applied by the Home Office since 2000 was the correct interpretation of the British Nationality Act 1981. This entailed that EEA parents exercising rights of free movement were not settled and that the children born to these European nationals were not born British.

Following the case of Roehrig, we have received many requests for assistance from EEA nationals whose children’s application for a new British passport or for a renewal of an old British passport has been refused. Our clients can now finally relax as their children’s nationality rights will soon be protected by relevant legislation.

How Breytenbachs can assist you

Breytenbachs have a team of experts specialising in the rights of EEA nationals. For more information or assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.