Should I apply for an EEA Residence Card?

Free movement of persons is one of the fundamental principles, under the European Framework, it allows nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) countries to travel, live and work in other member state countries. Non-EEA family members can apply for a Residence card to confirm their right to reside in the UK with their EEA national family member.  Following the EU referendum, there has been a web of uncertainty surrounding the future of EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members.

EEA Residence Card applications can be made by LEXVISA Immigration Solicitors in London


What is an EEA Residence Card?

A Residence Card is a formal document, which confirms your right to live in the UK under European Law. You can apply for a Residence Card if you are a non-EEA national family member and your EEA family is exercising their treaty rights as a qualified person or must have permanent residence in the UK. Under the EEA regulations, a qualified person is someone who is in the UK working, self-sufficient, studying or currently searching for work. There are additional conditions, which need to be satisfied for the latter. We often receive a large number of inquiries in regards to who qualifies as a family member.

Family members can be split into two groups, you can either apply as a direct or extended family member.  You will be considered as a direct family member if you are a:

  • Spouse or civil partner of an EEA national;
  • Direct descendants of an EEA national or their spouse; and
  • Parents or grandparents of an EEA national are also considered as direct family members.

Direct family members have an automatic right to remain in the UK as long as the family member qualifies as a family member of an EEA national who is exercising treaty rights. Direct family members also have a right to permanent residence under Article 23 of Directive 2004/38/EC.

Under Regulation 8, the following people may be considered as extended family members, relatives of an EEA national or their spouse/civil Partner. To qualify as an extended family you must be able to demonstrate that you are dependent on the EEA national or  their spouse and you are a member of the EEA nationals’ household.

Alternative Routes to UK Residence Card

If you are in the UK as a direct family member of an EEA national and your relationship has broken down,  you may be eligible to retain your Residence Card under the retained rights of residence route. You should note that you can only retain your right of residence if you already hold a valid Residence Card and meet the requirements.

The judgment in the illustrious Surinder Singh case 370/90 is often used to reunite non-EEA family members with their British citizen partners/ family members. It was held in this particular case, that you may be eligible for a Residence Card under this route if you are a non-EEA citizen and you have been living with a British Citizen in another EEA country. You will be required to show that your British Citizen family member was working in the EEA country and considered it as home.

Brexit Impact on EEA Residence Card applications

The UK will continue to be a party to the European Union until prime minister Theresa May officially initiates separation proceedings by summoning Article 50. Following the aftermath of Brexit, it is clear there are considerable concerns for EEA nationals and their family members in relation to their future in the UK.

However, it is important to note that there have been no immediate changes to the current UK immigration laws but as a direct consequence of the referendum, there has been an unprecedented increase Residence Card applications causing excessive delays in the processing times. Whilst there are no immediate changes it is evident that there will be some changes to the current UK immigration rules.

Successful EEA Residence Card Applications

Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your applications before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration or visa application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.

We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients.  We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.

Preparation is the key to successful immigration applications. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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