Non-EEA nationals can retain their right of residence in the UK in situations where their relationship with an EEA national has ended. This article discusses how you can retain a right of residence in the UK under regulation 10 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006. Regulation 10 specifically encourages free movement of people by protecting the rights of Non-EEA nationals.Rights of family members of EEA nationals are well protected under EEA regulations 2006
How to obtain EEA Retained Rights of Residence in the UK
Non-EEA nationals can make an application for an EEA Family Permit if they can demonstrate that they previously had a right to reside in the UK as the family member of EEA national. The EEA national must be a qualified person who is;
- Self-sufficient or actively looking for work in the UK;
- A worker or student in the UK; or
- Has a permanent right of residence in the UK.
There are a few different scenarios where Non-EEA-nationals may have retained their right of residency in the UK where their relationship with an EEA national (qualified person) has broken down or come to end. Regulation 1o of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 specifically protects the rights of Non-EEA family members where the EEA family member has passed away or where a marriage/civil partnership has terminated. Parents/carers of children who hold a Retained Right of Residence may also be eligible under regulation 10 of the EEA regulations 2006.
Retained Rights of Residency After Divorce
Where a marriage between an EEA and Non-EEA national has broken down and has led to divorce, the Non-EEA citizen may be eligible to remain in the UK, if it can be demonstrated that the couple had been married for at least 3 years. The Non-EEA citizen must also show that the couple lived together in the UK for at least 12 months and the EEA national was working at the time of the divorce. If this can be proven, the family member of the EEA national may be granted leave under the retain rights of residence.
However, it may become difficult for the Non-EEA national to provide evidence of the EEA national’s employment especially where the marriage has ended badly. Where the EEA national has severed all ties with the Non-EEA citizen, the onus will be on the Non-EEA citizen to demonstrate that he or she satisfies the requirements under the EEA regulations 2006. If the Non-EEA national is granted further leave to remain under the retained right of residence route, the applicant will be granted a Residence Permit. After 5 years of lawful residency, the Non-EEA national may be eligible to apply for a Permanent Resident card.
The aftermath of Brexit- Retained Rights of Residence
The EU referendum has resulted in uncertainty amongst EEA nationals and left many people unaware of what the future holds for them and their family members. It is important to note that there are no immediate changes being made to the current UK immigration rules. The UK is still in the EU and will only officially leave once the government invokes Article 50. There is no doubt that the UK government are planning on leaving the EU, and this subsequently has resulted in many EEA nationals securing their future in the UK by applying to settle as soon as their eligible. It seems the EU referendum has left Non-EEA family members who have not acquired the Retained Rights of Residence in a daunting situation as their future remains uncertain.
Making a successful UK immigration application for an EEA Residence Permit
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers will be able to guide you through the process step by step and limit the possibility of failure by complying with the strict letter of the law. Please always call us for a telephone case assessment even if you wish to consider other advisers. Our Immigration Experts are able to give specialist legal information and advice in this area of law. To contact one of our Immigration Solicitors or Immigration Barristers please complete our legal case assessment form and we will get in touch or call us now on 0845 8622 529 for a free telephone assessment and free case assessment.
If you wish to consider your options, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your matter and if necessary advise you of the next steps you should take in a consultation.
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.
If you need professional legal advice about applying for a Family Permit please contact us for a case assessment on 02071830570. You can also reach us via our contact form.