Children from the EU are exempt from the seven-year rule until they have lived in the UK for seven years.

In MM (section 117B(6) – EU citizen child) Iran [2020] UKUT 224 (IAC ) the Upper Tribunal holds that the seven year rule at section 117B(6) of the 2002 Act (which applies to British children and foreign national children resident for seven years) cannot be read as applying to EU children resident for less than seven years on the basis that it is contrary to the EU prohibition on discrimination between citizens of a Member State and other EU citizens.

The official headnote states as follows:

1. The definition of “qualifying child” contained in section 117D(1) of the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002 does not include an EU citizen child resident in the United Kingdom for less than seven years.

2. The non-inclusion of EU citizen children resident for less than seven years in the definition of “qualifying child” does not breach the EU law prohibition against discrimination on grounds of nationality.

An ambitious argument, but one of which we may hear more given that an appeal seems likely.

As regards the 7-year route, under paragraph 276ADE of the Immigration Rules it is provided that a child may be granted leave to remain based on their Article 8 right to private life where: they are under 18, they have lived continuously in the UK for at least seven years (discounting any periods of imprisonment) and it would not be reasonable to expect them to leave the UK.

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