A Zambrano carer is a parent or carer from a non-EEA state whose residence is required in order to enable a child or dependant adult to live in the European Union.  

Most Zambrano carers are protected by EU case law or the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (if they reside in the UK). 

Migrant parents of British children based in the UK, however, are excluded from the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, because they have not exercised their free movement rights. 


12 - 13 December 2023

2nd judicial review hearing before the High Court. Akinsanya v SSHD joined with Aning-Adjei.

5 October 2023

New rule on Administrative Review (AR). Applications decided on or after 5 October will not have an option to go for AR.

8 August 2023

Zambrano carer wins EUSS appeal in the UT on Article 8 human rights grounds.

July 2023

The Home Office announces the EUSS scheme for Zambrano carers will close in August.

6 June 2023

Zambrano carer wins EUSS appeal before Upper Tribunal (UT) on all grounds.  See Court of Appeal’s judgment in TZ and PG v Secretary of State for the Home Department [2018] EWCA Civ 1109.

Spring 2023

Akinsanya launches a second judicial review against the Home Office.

Fall/Winter 2022

Zambrano carers who hold leave to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules lodge appeals with the First Tier Tribunal.  The Home Office do not update their documentation to reflect the Court of Appeal's ruling.

Summer 2022

The Home Office refuse Zambrano carers who hold leave to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules.

30 June 2022

The Home Office renews their decision to exclude from the EU Settlement Scheme Zambrano carers who hold leave to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules.

30 December 2021

Underhill LJ of the Court of Appeal agrees with Mostyn J that Zambrano carers can hold leave to remain under the another part of the Immigration Rules and still be considered Zambrano carers.  The Home Office agree to update their policy to reflect the Court's finding.

The Court of Appeal says parents who had leave under another part of the Immigration Rules will not become a Zambrano carer at a later date.

30 June 2021

The deadline for applying to the settlement scheme expires.  Anyone without either a pending or resolved application could face deportation. Late applications are accepted with 'good reason'.

09 June 2021

Upper Tribunal Judge, Mostyn J concludes the Home Office erred in its definition of a Zambrano carer.  He explains leave to remain under the UK rules does not invalidate one's status as a Zambrano carer.

Spring 2021

The Home Office refuse applications for many Zambrano carers. The stated reason is due to their leave to remain under the UK rules as of 31 Dec 2020.

31 December 2020 

The transition period  between the UK and EU ends. The automatic right of migrant parents of British children to reside in the UK ends.

Summer 2020

A year after receiving the paper applications, the Home Office begins to refuse many Zambrano carers. The reason given is due to concurrently holding leave to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules.

31 January 2020

The UK leaves the European Union. The transition period begins. Rights to reside acquired under the EEA Regulations are temporarily extended during the transition period. 

Fall/Winter 2019

The Home Office sends letters to Zambrano carers encouraging them to apply for leave to remain under another part of the Immigration Rules.

Late May 2019

EUSS officially opens to Zambrano carers. Unlike the digital application for EU citizens, Zambrano carers must request and complete a paper based application.  Applications are expected to be decided within six months.  By contrast, EU citizens who apply via the digital app receive a decision within 72 hours.

7 March 2019

The Home Office publishes the Explanatory Memorandum to the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules Presented to Parliament (HC 1919). The EUSS will accept those lawfully resident in the UK by virtue of a ‘derivative right’ to reside, based on wider EU law. This list includes Zambrano carers.

21 June 2018

The Home Office publishes Annex B: draft Immigration Rules for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).  Settlement will be awarded to EU citizens and family member of British citizens (with an exclusion for financially independent parents) "on a basis which reflects their current EU law rights".

23 June 2016

51.89 per cent of British voters decide in favour of leaving the EU.

8 March 2011

A financially independent Colombian national, Ruiz Zambrano, wins the right to reside in the EU as the carer of his European children.  The concept of Zambrano carers is established.

25 March 2004

The EU establishes the rights of families to free movement across the EU (2004/38/EC). Financially independent parents (Zambrano carers) are not eligible.

25 November 2003

The EU establishes long residence for third party nationals after five years (2003/109/EC). The UK, Ireland and Denmark opt out of this Directive.

1 January 1994

The EEA or European Economic Area is formed. The UK becomes a member.


The European Union is formed. The UK joins in November 1993.


The UK agrees to follow the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) which calls for residents to be able to achieve full participation in society.

January 1973

The UK joins the EEC or European Economic Community and agrees to uphold the rights outlined in the TFEU.

1 January 1958

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) comes into force.  The Articles outline rights available to all citizens of the EU.

5 May 1949

Under Churchill's leadership, the UK becomes a founding member of the Council of Europe. It is responsible for the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Court of Human Rights.