How to Retain Rights of Residence in the UK

To retained rights of residence in the UK means that family members of settled people who have come to the UK on the basis of that relationship may be able to remain in the UK if that relationship breakdown or if it ceases to exist. Retained Rights of Residence is legislated under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (“EEA Regulations”) for the family members of EEA nationals in the UK. Under the Immigration Rules, there is a separate application to be made for the victims of domestic violence. Call our immigration team to arrange a meeting with us in order to discuss your circumstances and assess whether you qualify to retain rights of residence in the UK.   

How to Retain Rights of Residence in the UK under the EEA Regulations

The UK has a duty under Regulation 10 of the EEA Regulations to allow non-EEA family members to apply for retained rights of residence. In order to apply to retain rights of residence in the UK, the conditions listed within Regulation 10 must be met. Applicants are eligible to apply for retained rights of residence in the following circumstances:

  • where marriage or civil partnership to the EEA sponsor has ended (with a divorce, annulment or dissolution);
  • the EEA sponsor has died and the Applicant had lived in the UK for at least 1 year before they died;
  • the Applicant is the child of an EEA national who has died or left the UK, or the child of their spouse or civil partner, or former spouse or civil partner, they were in education when that person died or left the UK, and they continue to be in education;
  • the Applicant is the parent and have custody of a child who has a retained right of residence because they’re in education in the UK.

There are additional requirements if the Applicant is divorced from the settled sponsor or has ended their civil partnership with them. Victims of domestic violence may also be eligible to apply. However, the EEA Regulations only provide for a retained right of residence to former spouses and civil partners. There is no basis for a durable or “unmarried” partner to retain a right of residence for reasons of domestic violence.

How to Retain Rights of Residence in the UK under the Immigration Rules

There is a separate application for victims of domestic violence under the Immigration Rules. The domestic violence provisions apply to the spouses, civil partners, unmarried or same-sex partners of British citizens, settled persons or members of HM forces who has served for at least 4 years.

For the purpose of retaining rights of residence in the UK on the basis of domestic violence, the Applicant must be 18 years and over to qualify for leave as a partner. Abuse can include but is not limited to psychological, physical, sexual, financial and emotional abuse. A person who does not have adequate accommodation or any means of obtaining it or they cannot meet their essential living needs is considered destitute. These individuals may also be suitable to apply for retained rights of residence in the UK.

For all other reasons that a non-EEA national’s relationship has broken down with their settled sponsor, they will be granted discretionary leave to remain by the secretary of state, or should consider making a fresh application under a different category.

Using Legal Representation to Retain Rights of Residence in the UK

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.

Successfully Retain Rights of Residence in the UK

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.

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