EEA nationals & deportation

EEA nationals & deportation

Deportation is a specific mechanism used by the Home Office when an EEA (i.e. EU) national has committed a criminal offence. Immigration lawyers appear to be increasingly receiving requests for help from EEA nationals who have been threatened with deportation. It is not clear whether there has in fact been an increase in the number of deportation orders made against EEA nationals, or whether any increase is linked to Brexit.

Where a deportation order is made against an EEA national, they will usually have a right of appeal to the Immigration Tribunal (also known as the First-tier Tribunal) under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016. 

Regulation 27 sets out various criteria for deportation. In broad terms, the regulation contains three different levels of ‘defence’, depending on the EEA national’s length of residence in the UK. 

  • for EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for less than five years, a general requirement that there be public policy or security grounds justifying deportation
  • for EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for more than five (but less than ten) years and have thus acquired permanent residence, a requirement that there be ‘serious grounds of public policy or security’ justifying deportation
  • for EEA nationals who have resided in the UK for more than ten years, a requirement that there be ‘imperative grounds of public security’ justifying deportation 

Thus, the longer the EEA national has lived in the UK, the better their chances of being able to resist deportation. However, building a strong ‘defence’ to a deportation order also requires the EEA national to demonstrate – amongst other things – strong family or cultural ties to the UK and a minimal risk of re-offending. The Immigration Tribunal will furthermore apply various legal principles when assessing all these facts.  

If you or a family member have had a deportation order made against you then contact us – our experienced immigration law barristers can help. 

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