The end of your marriage does not have to spell the end of your time in the UK. As the spouse or child of an EEA national, you could have retained right of residence that will allow you to continue to live, work and study here, no matter what the future holds.
What is Retained Right of Residence?
Retained right of residence is designed to allow the spouse and certain family members of an EEA national to remain in the United Kingdom even if their marriage has ended, or if that EEA national passes away. This ensures that a non-EEA national who has established a life in the United Kingdom does not have to leave the country – should they be able to meet the requirements.
One of the key elements to obtaining retained rights of residence is your relationship with the EEA national. Should you be the family member of an EEA national who has either a permanent right of residence in the UK, or was a qualified person (meaning a worker, student, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or a job seeker) exercising their treaty rights in the United Kingdom, you are able to apply for an EEA family permit. If this is the case, then it is possible that you are eligible for retained rights of residence should that relationship end.
Retained Right of Residence and Divorce
If you are the spouse of an EEA national resident exercising their treaty rights in the United Kingdom and your marriage is beginning to fail, until you are issued with a Decree Absolute at the dissolution of your marriage you will still be under the family member route and have right of residence. However, if your EEA national spouse is not exercising their treaty rights, then your visa or permit will be in jeopardy, and you will need to make an urgent assessment of your right of residence.
There will be a period from when your divorce proceedings begin to when the Decree Absolute is issued which could prove problematic. You will need to ensure that you have Comprehensive Sickness Insurance, as this is stated in the Immigration Regulations. Further, you will need to ensure that your spouse is continuing to exercise their treaty rights as a qualified person. It is often challenging to obtain evidence that the EEA national was exercising treaty rights at the date of the Decree Absolute once the divorce proceedings have concluded. In order to prevent this, it is important that preparation is done before the divorce proceedings have concluded to ensure that all necessary evidence in support of the retained right of residence application is obtained.
Using Legal Representation to Apply for Retained Right of 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 Retained Right of 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 Retained Right of 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. We are 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.