Permanent Residence for EU Citizens in the UK

A recent news story has broken out about a French national who has had her Permenent Residence application refused. What makes this story unique is that the Applicant’s husband is a bodygudrd for Queen Elizabeth II. This particular case has highlighted the strict approach taken by the Home Office and the uncertainty around Permanent Residence for EU Citizens once the UK departs from the EU. It is advised that EU nationals should consider applying for Permanent Residence early rather than later so that they can possiblly benefit and apply for the proposed new Settled Status Document.

Current Permanent Residence for EU Citizens Requirements

EU citizens currently living in the UK exercising their Treaty rights do not need a document to confirm their residence status unless they want to apply for British citizenship  or sponsor a partner’s visa application. Under the UK’s immigration law, the EU applicant must provide evidence of being a qualified person for 5 years, which means they are one of the following:

  • a worker;
  • a student;
  • self-employed;
  • self-sufficient; or
  • a job seeker.

The EU citizen must remain a qualified person continuously for 5 years before applying for settlement. There are accelerated settlement routes of 2 years and 3 years in certain circumstances. An EU citizen who wishes to apply for British citizenship can immediately apply after obtaining a Permanent Residence document provided they have resided in the UK for 6 years.

Marital Status of the EU Citizen Applying for Permanent Residence in the UK

It is understandable that the wife of the Queen’s bodyguard who was recently refused settlement recently was disappointed by the refusal, as she found out that being married to a British national carries no weight to her Permanent Residence application. The marital status of the EU Applicant for settlement is not a relevant factor in applying for EU settlement.

This is anti-intuition. Unlike applications based on family relationships, such as the spouse visa or a family member of a qualified EU citizen, in this instance, being married to a British national has nothing to do with her settlement application. An EU citizen can apply for British citizenship with the Permanent Residence document, provided the following conditions are satisfied:

  1. They have lived in the UK for at least 3 years before applying;
  2. They spent no more than 270 days outside the UK during those 3 years;
  3. They spent no more than 90 days outside the UK in the last 12 months; and
  4. They have not broken any immigration laws while in the UK.

One exception to the absence rule is that the EU applicant is living abroad with their British national partner who works abroad for the UK government or an organisation closely linked to Government.

The New Scheme of Settled Status for EU Citizens

The current Permanent Residence document will cease to be valid post-Brexit. A new scheme for the settled status of EU citizens in the UK will be revealed later this year. The benefit of obtaining the permanent residence document sooner rather than waiting to apply under the new scheme is that it is free to convert the existing permanent residence document under the new settled status scheme. It is advisable to apply for the Permanent Residence document and convert it to settled status free of hassle, rather than to wait and see whether you meet the new requirements for the settled status.

Using Legal Representation to make a Permanent Residence for EU Citizens 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 a Permanent Residence for EU citizens 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 for Permanent Residence 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 Permanent Residence for EU citizens application meets the requirements.

Successful Permanent Residence for EU Citizens 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 application for Permanent Residence for EU citizens before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your Settled Status 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 a successful a successful application for Permanent Residence. 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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