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How will Brexit affect refugee family reunions?

Brexit brings more and more challenges. In fact, the UK will have to rebuild many spheres of their life, including immigration. Many are concerned about what will happen to families of those refugees who live in the UK but have not had an opportunity to reunite with their spouses and children .

The UK was bound by the Dublin Regulation until 31 December 2020 whereby EU Member States have to consider and award asylum claims in specific cases. As a rule, an asylum application is processed by the country where an asylum seeker crossed first border to the EU. However, there are some exceptions. In particular, it may be taken into consideration that refugee relatives live in another EU country and it is preferable for them to move there.

However, after Brexit, the UK will not be using the Dublin Regulation to transfer and accept refugees including those who want to reunite with their family. This issue will now be regulated by other laws.

Applications submitted before 31 December 2020will be considered under Immigration, Nationality and Asylum (EU Exit) Regulations 2019. Later ones will fall under the UK Immigration Rules.

The following categories of refugees can apply for entry or stay in the UK for family reunion:

  • a spouse or a child of a person who has a refugee status or humanitarian protection in the UK;
  • a child with an adult relative in the UK who has a refugee status or humanitarian protection;
  • a child of a parent, both parents or another adult relative living in the UK with Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status;
  • a partner of a British citizen or an alien with settled status or an alien with refugee status who has been granted humanitarian protection.

Moreover, in special cases, applications are considered outside the Immigration Rules. Then the application type will depend on individual circumstances of each applicant.

Notwithstanding the above, the UK authorities still have a duty to safeguard and promote the welfare of children under section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009. The interests of minors remain the top priority in immigration cases.

If you have any questions concerning new immigration rules after Brexit, we will answer them in detail. Imperial & Legal advisors will help you find the best option for entry and residence in the UK and draw your attention to all nuances.

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