The EEA retained rights of residence category was introduced by the European Union to protect close related family members of EEA nationals in member state countries. The United Kingdom has a duty under Regulation 10 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (“Regulation 10”) to allow non-EEA family members to apply for retained rights of residence. In order to apply for retained rights of residence in the United Kingdom, the conditions listed within Regulation 10 must be met.
What is EEA Retained Rights of Residence?
The retained rights of residence category is designed to allow certain family members of EEA nationals to remain in the UK. This ensures that non-EEA nationals who have established a life in the United Kingdom are not required to leave should their relationship breakdown or cease to exist with their EEA national family member.
When can I apply for EEA Retained Rights of Residence?
There are 4 popular scenarios where family members can apply for retained rights of residence in the UK. The different scenarios are listed under Regulation 10 (2) to Regulation 10 (5).
The first scenario under Regulation 10 (2) is where the EEA national has passed away. The second scenario under Regulation 10 (3) is applying on the basis of being a direct descendant. Direct descendants include children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The fourth scenario under Regulation 10 (4) is applying on the basis of being a parent to a child of EU nationality. The fifth scenario under Regulation 10 (5) is where the relationship with EEA national partner breaks down.
How to apply for EEA Retained Rights of Residence after breakdown of marriage or relationship?
Under Regulation 10 (5) non-EEA partners may be eligible to apply for retained rights of residence where their marriage or relationship has terminated. The difficulty many Applicants face under this category is meeting the conditions under regulation 10 (5) especially where the marriage or relationship has not ended amicably. Applications made under this category must include evidence of the Sponsor’s activity in the UK. Collecting documents in evidence of the Sponsors activity may be a daunting task especially where the EEA Sponsor is not willing to co-operate or where issues of domestic violence arise. In order to apply for EEA retained rights of residence the following conditions must be met:
- The marriage must have lasted a minimum of 3 years before the date of divorce and for one of those years the couple must have resided in the UK;
- At the time of divorce the EEA Sponsor must have been exercising Treaty Rights in the UK;
- Since the divorce, the non-EEA national is exercising Treaty Rights in the UK.
A non-EEA national whose relationship has not officially ended is likely to lose their right of residence if their EEA sponsor stops being a qualified person or loses their right of Permanent Residence.
How do I ask my EEA partner for evidence to submit with my Retained Rights of Residence application?
In some circumstances involving domestic violence or where the marriage/relationship has ended in difficult circumstances, it may not be possible for you to provide the required evidence in support of your application. In such situations, Applicants are advised to make every effort to provide the necessary evidence and provide proof of the same. The Home Office has the discretion to conduct their own enquiries regarding the EEA partners status in the UK. This could be done by the Home Office liaising with HMRC to check previous employment records. It should be noted this discretion will be only be exercised in some circumstances and legal advice should be sought prior to the submission of the retained rights of residence application.
The Home Office caseworkers understand the seriousness and sensitivity surrounding retained rights of residence applications. Caseworkers have been advised to consider every application on its merits.
Using Legal Representation to submit a Retained Rights of Residence application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit retained rights of residence applications.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject retained rights of residence applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your retained rights of residence application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your retained rights of residence application meet the Immigration Rules.
Successful Retained Rights of Residence Application
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 retained rights of residence application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your retained rights of residence 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. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful retained rights of residence 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.