FAQs: EEA-related issues

Please note that the above questions and answers have been prepared from the emails, telephone calls and actual cases that we have dealt and have therefore not provided any names and addresses in order to keep cleint confidentiality.

Question:
I entered the UK on a visitor visa in Sept. 2003 and did not go back. From June 2004, I have been residing with my boyfriend who is a Lithuanian national and is working in the UK on a self-employed basis. I am also 7 months pregnant. I would like to know whether I have got any chances of regularizing my stay in the UK?

Answer:
You can make an application for a residence card as the unmarried partner of an EEA national exercising treaty rights in the UK. You need to show you are in a ‘durable relationship’ so you need to prove that you have been actually residing with your partner by providing documentary evidence of living together such as bills, bank statements, NHS letters or other documents in your name or your boyfriend`s name at the same address (ideally for at least two years). Your boyfriend also needs to provide documents confirming his self-employment status. You should provide letters / medical records in respect of yourself confirming your inability to make travel arrangements (due to pregnancy) to seek the family permit from outside the UK. This type of application will take a long time to be processed and can be complex, so it would be wise to seek professional help.

Question:
I recently married a German national who is working in the UK and would like to invite my children (from a previous marriage) of ages 19 and 20 who are residing in Russian Federation. Can I do that?

Answer:
Yes. You can invite your children on a family permit (6 month visa) that can be switched to a five-year Residence Card.  On completion of five years’ residence they can apply for permanent residence in the UK. Under European Community Law, children up to the age of 21 are treated as dependent family members for the above purposes. However, you will need to show that you have responsibility for the children and that their father consents to the arrangement.

Question:
I am an EEA national and working as a self-employed builder. I have been living in the UK with my Russian student partner since September, 2010. I am single and she is in the process of obtaining a divorce from her husband. Her student visa is now expiring. Can she apply as my unmarried partner and apply for a Residence Card?

Answer:
Although you are partners and living together in a relationship akin to marriage, your partner cannot apply for a Residence Card. In order to make an unmarried partner application, both of the parties must be free to get married.  If one of the parties is married, he or she must provide a divorce certificate to confirm his/her freedom to marry.  We would advise that she obtains the divorce certificate first and then makes an application for the Residence Card. Your partner would still be able to make the application in the UK despite staying beyond the expiry of the visa.  However, this type of application is not straightforward and professional help should be sought when making this kind of application.

Question:
I am a Ukrainian citizen and entered the UK in July 2012 on a visit visa. I am married to an EEA national who is working in the UK. Can I switch from visit visa to dependant of an EEA national?

Answer:
Yes. You can switch to being the dependant of an EEA national and can apply for a Residence Car. It does not matter what visa you are on as, under EC law, the Home Office is obliged to recognize your rights as the family member of an EEA national. However, such an application could take several months and it would be wise to seek professional assistance in making such an application.

Question:
I am an holding an Alien Latvian travel document and have been living in the UK for seven years on an expired visa. I am living with my wife and daughter who are Latvian nationals and exercising their Treaty Rights in the UK. Can I apply to get some sort of visa from here or do I need to return to Latvia to obtain a visa from the British Embassy? Please note that I do not have any family in Latvia and have broken all my ties with that country.

Answer:
Following the judgment of the European Court in Metock prior lawful residence should not be a requirement for the issue of a Residence Card in respect of a close family member of an EEA national. You should be issued a Residence card provided the Home Office is satisfied that you are a genuine family member of an EEA national and that your family member is exercising her Treaty Rights in the UK.

Question:
I have been residing in the UK on the basis of Tier 2 (General) since November, 2010. My visa is expiring in November, 2013, and my employer is not willing to apply for its extension. From January, 2011, I developed a relationship with my same-sex partner who is an EEA national and we have been living together since July 2011. Can I apply for any visa in view of my relationship with my partner? Can I use my four years of stay as work permit holder towards my application for settlement?

Answer:
Yes. You can apply for a Residence Card in line with the fact that your partner is exercising his Treaty Rights in the UK. You need to establish the genuineness of your relationship by providing a number of documents confirming the fact that you have been living together for more than two years. Please note that this is not a straightforward application and you should seek independent professional advice in relation to your immigration matter.  Once you switch from work permit to Residence Card you would lose the time spent on your previous visa and would have to commence the five year qualifying period for settlement under European law from the beginning. However that time does count towards indefinite leave to remain in the context of the 10 year Long Residence Rule.

Question:
I am a  Polish national living and working in the UK. Can I invite my 55 years old mother to join me in the UK? Does she have to be more than 65 years of age?

Answer:
Please note that as you are an EEA national exercising your Treaty Rights in the UK, you are allowed to invite your parents, spouse, civil partner and children less than 21 years of age to join you in the UK permanently. There are other types of relatives as well who can qualify to join you in the UK but there are additional requirements to be fulfilled. We would advise that you contact us to arrange consultation when we would discuss your mother’s situation in detail.

Question:
How long does  the Home Office take to process applications for Residence Cards? I want to go on holidays in three months` time.

Answer:
The Home Office  should consider Residence Cards in 6 months but they often take longer than that and are not giving any time estimates. If you need to travel urgently you can request the return of your passport from the Home Office and this should not affect your application.

Question:
I am an Australian married to an Italian citizen who is working in the UK. Should I obtain a family permit from Australia or I can make an application from here?

Answer:
As an Australian Citizen, you do not require any visa to come to the UK. You can simply travel to the UK with the evidence that you are family member of an EEA national who is exercising Treaty Rights in the UK and seek entry on that basis. They would give you entry as a family member of an EEA national for six months and you can then make an application for a Residence Card of five years’ duration.

Question:
I have been  residing in the UK since July 2011 on the basis of having a Residence Card for five years (my husband is French). Can I apply for ILR after completing two years of my stay in the UK just like those who get permanent residence on the basis of being married to British Citizens?

Answer:
You cannot pick and choose, unfortunately. You have to complete your five years residence in the UK and then make an application for permanent residence on the basis of having completed the required period of time as a family member of an EEA national exercising his treaty rights in the UK. Only those who leave as the spouse of a person present and settled in the UK prior to the Immigration Rule changes of 9th July 2012 can apply for ILR after two years and only if they meet the necessary requirements. Those granted spouse visas after the rule changes of 9th July 2012 have to complete five years before they are eligible to apply for ILR. 

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