EEA Family Permit Biometrics

Mr Xavier S made this Freedom of Information request to Home Office

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear Home Office,

I have been provided information by Your Eurpe Advice service outlining that the UK Government cannot require submission of Biometric Data in order to issue the entry visa to the United Kingdom under Directive 2004/38/EC.

Article 5 provides a full list of documentation required: This being proof of family relationship, valid passport, and proof of the EU Nationals nationality.

(For example: Both passports, and a marriage certificate).

I understand that for a visa to be issued, a photograph should also be issued (and I do not disagree with this).

I do however, question the reasoning for Biometric Information being required. I do not appreciate the fact that this need to submit my fingerprints makes me feel like a criminal. I queried this point of law with the Europe Advice Service and they confirmed that you cannot request that I submit biometric data.

"First regarding the issue of biometric data for family members of EU citizens, you should note that the Directive does not impose a requirement on national authorities to obtain biometric data from such family members. Articles 9 and 10 of the Directive which regulates the formalities gives no such option to the national authorities.

Likewise, the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 which give effect to the Directive does not provide powers for the Home Office to require family members to submit their biometric data when applying for a residence card. Indeed regulation 17(1) obliges the Home Office to issue a residence card to non-EU family members upon submission of (a) a valid passport; and (b) proof that the applicant is such a family member.

While EC Regulation No 1030/2002 lays down a common format for residence permits issued to non-EU citizens in which the UK participates and which does allow for the taking of biometric data, this does not apply to residence cards of family members (Article 5 of Directive 2004/38/EC applies). "

Please provide the information you store, which allows the Home Office, or organisations working on its behalf to require the Family Member of an EEA National to submit biometric data before being issued with an EEA Family Permit.

Yours faithfully,

Xavier Shanderia

FOI Requests, Home Office

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

"In relation to your query regarding UKVI's obligation under the Data Protection Act, UKVI has an obligation to maintain effective immigration control and thus will retain the details of persons who remain subject to immigration control. Once those persons cease to be subject to immigration control, they may apply under the Data Protection Act to have their details destroyed."

Should we take this as conclusive proof that the Home Office cannot take the details... As the Family Member of an EEA National is not a "Person Subject to Immigration Control"

FOI Requests, Home Office

Dear Mr Shanderia

Thank you for contacting the Home Office with your request. This has been assigned to a caseworker (ref 31852). We will aim to send you a full response by 20/06/2014 which is twenty working days from the date we received your request.

If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you

FOI Requests
Home Office

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FOI Responses, Home Office

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Shanderia


Thank you for your email of 22 May about the EEA documentation processes.
Your email does not fall to be handled as a request for information under
the Freedom of Information Act. Instead, it is being handled as an enquiry
about Home Office policy and processes.


Yours Sincerely


Information Access Team

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Communications via the GSi may be automatically logged, monitored and/or
recorded for legal purposes.

Wayne Pearsall left an annotation ()

What absolute Bull.... - Family Members of EEA Nationals are not subject to immigration control. Collection of biometric data is only legal to persons subject to immigration control.

I'd also request an Internal Review. If there was such an email, as they refer to, then surely it falls for release within your FOI request bud.

I also like how they "REQUEST" and not "REQUIRE" Biometric data to be submitted...

Amit Hidri left an annotation ()

They have released a little more information

I also noticed how they use the very different words request (please can you supply) and require (you must supply).