Needless to say that since Britain triggered Article 50, marking the official start of Brexit; there has never been more uncertainty and concern for the EEA nationals who are in UK exercising their Treaty Rights. Over the past few months, the Home Office has been inundated with Permanent Residence applications, in a frightened attempt to make permanent their status in the UK. It is important for permanent residence applicants to be aware of the requirements for permanent residence before submitting the application.
EEA Permanent Residence Overview
EEA nationals and their family members may be able to apply for Permanent Residence in the UK if they have lived continuously in the UK for 5 years and hold an EEA Residence Card. They may apply if they are the family member of an EEA national who is a ‘qualified person’ and are residing with them in the UK or if they have come to the UK as the family member of an EEA national and then have retained a right of residence. The applicant simply needs to demonstrate that they are exercising their Treaty Rights in the UK.
An EEA national may still obtain permanent residence if they are no longer exercising their Treaty Rights by ceasing activity in the UK for the following three reasons;
- if they are retired;
- if they are permanently incapacitated; or
- if they are now active as a worker or self-employed person in another EEA state.
Therefore, as long as the EEA national has still been present in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, then they may still be eligible for permanent residence, unless they are in breach of the other guidelines.
New Guidance on Satisfying the 5 Year Continuous Residence
It is important to clarify that an amendment has been made with regards to the continuous 5 years residence. The application for permanent residency must now be made within 2 years of the 5 year period. Any continuous stay from the past will not be counted towards that current permanent residence application, so therefore the applicant needs to demonstrate that they are currently exercising their Treaty Rights in the UK.
Having legal representation, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, to prepare you permanent residence application will ensure you meet all of the requirements needed for it to be a success. We can help guide you through the intricate requirements in applying for permanent residence in the UK as an EEA national.
Possible Effects on EEA Permanent Residence Applications
It should be straight forward to attain permanent residence, although it can become fairly complicated in cases which involve gaps in employment or when the applicant needs to rely on their retained rights of residence. This being said, over the 5 years of continuous stay that the EEA national would need to hold in the UK, temporary absence is permitted in certain circumstances, under Part 1, Section 3 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.
Continuity of residence is not affected by periods of absence from the UK which is not more than 6 months in total in any one year. It is also not affected by one absence from the UK not exceeding a 12 month period for exceptional reasons such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training or an overseas posting. Any absence due to compulsory military service is also permitted under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.
However, continuity of residence will be found to be broken if a person serves a prison sentence, a deportation or exclusion order is made in relation to that person, and if a person is removed from the UK under these regulations. If continuity of residence is broken then this will cause problems for your permanent residence application. Hence, it is important to have legal representation when preparing an application for permanent residence, to ensure that all the requirements are met, which will give you a greater chance of your application being successful.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for EEA Permanent Residence
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 a Permanent Residence application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your 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 application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful EEA Permanent Residence 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 visa and immigration application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation of your immigration and 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. 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 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.