European parents ‘shocked’ after London-born children denied UK residency


A European couple have spoken of their shock after their London-born children were refused permanent residency in the UK. Jan-Dinant Schreuder and Monica Obiols said they were devastated that the Home Office required further evidence that their 15-year-old son and 12-year-old daughter permanently lived with their parents.

Ms Obiols told the Guardian: “What evidence are they supposed to have? They don’t have council tax bills or proof of where they live. They are children.

“They have gone to school here all their lives, English is their mother tongue. I was just so shocked when we got the refusal letters,” she said.

The Dutch and Spanish pair, both 49, have been living in the UK for all their adult lives and their children have Spanish passports. They told the paper that they became “panicked” after the EU referendum, and wanted to have paperwork in case they ever needed to prove their status in post-Brexit Britain.

Mr Schreuder applied for indefinite leave to remain, while Ms Obiols applied for a permanent residency card for herself and their two children. But despite issuing the couple with the cards, the Home Office sent notices to the children stating that their applications had been refused.

Mr Schreuder said: “It was surreal. I was so shocked that (it was) the children, who, probably of all people, were most deserving… I feel quite devastated.”

In order to secure permanent residence for a child and to demonstrate that they have lived in the country for the last five years, applicants usually require a letter from their school or confirmation from the school over the phone, according to the Home Office.

A spokesman said that in this case the “required evidence was not provided” but that they were in the “process of resolving the situation”.

“EEA nationals are not required to apply for documentation confirming their status and their rights remain unchanged while we are a member of the European Union – so there was never any risk of the family being split up.

“The rules clearly state that people applying for permanent residence documentation must demonstrate they have lived in the UK for the last five years. This includes applications for children.”