If you are the non-European family member of an EEA or Swiss national, and you have come to the UK with them, you can apply for a residence card. This is a document which confirms your right of residence under European law. Your residence card may take the form of an endorsement in your passport (also called a ‘vignette’), or it may be a separate document called an ‘immigration status document’. A residence card is normally valid for 5 years from the date when it is issued.
The Immigration Team at Lexlaw were recently instructed to represent a client, who wanted to obtain an EEA Residence Card on the basis of his retained rights of residence in the UK. The Applicant was previously married to a Spanish national who is in the UK exercising her Treaty rights. Our Immigration Team duly prepared our client’s application with the requisite supporting documents and made detailed representation to submit. Our client was subsequently granted an EEA Residence Card, along with a letter from the Home Office confirming that he is eligible to apply for permanent residency in the UK next year.
EEA applications can be made under Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (“Regulations”) and the Free Movement of Person’s Directive 2004/38/EC (“Directive”). Many applicants may need to make an EEA family permit application before entering the country. However there are provisions available to switch into an EEA2 residence card for some individuals who have leave to remain in the UK under certain categories. An EEA Residence Card allows an individual to stay in the UK for 5 years whilst their partner continues to reside with them and is exercising their treaty rights under the 2006 Regulations. Upon completion of the 5 years, an applicant may be eligible for permanent residency.
Retaining the Right of Residency in the UK Following Divorce
There are a number of ways in which a non-EEA national family member of an EEA national may retain their right of residence in the UK. For instance if an EEA national leaves the UK or dies or the relevant marriage or civil partnership is terminated, they may retain their right of residency in the UK. This is set out in regulation 10 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.
If a non-EEA national’s marriage to an EEA national comes to an end, they will be able to retain their right of residency if:
- The marriage has lasted for at three years before the proceedings for divorce;
- Both parties have lived in the UK for at least one year during the duration of the marriage; and
- They have child(ren) and the non-EEA has custody or right of access to the children.
Contact us for a successful EEA Residence applications:
Our team of experienced and professionally qualified solicitors and barristers (regulated by the Solicitor’s Regulation Authority) will be able to guide you through the application 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 consultation 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.