European Residence

European Residence Documents

The Right of EU & EEA nationals and their family members in United Kingdom:

– Citizens of countries in the EEA (European Economic Area) can move freely between the member states and live where they choose. EEA Nationals have the right to take a job, seek employment, or set up a business in the United Kingdom, just like British Citizens.

– Swiss nationals and EEA nationals have a right to live and work in the United Kingdom. This is called a right of residence.

– If you are an EEA national, you can generally enter the UK to study, work, establish a business or reside in the UK as a self-sufficient EU national.

– EEA Nationals are allowed to bring their family members to any EEA country. Family members can apply for a family permit that proves they have the right to live in the UK. If a non-EEA family member is accompanying the EEA member they must have an EEA Family Permit. In the UK non-EEA family members can apply for a Residence Document that proves their right to live with their family in the UK.

All EEA nationals have a right to continue to reside in the UK as long as they are a ‘qualified person’ and exercising their Treaty rights in the UK.  Treaty rights refer to any of the following circumstances:

– Employment (including job seeking)

– Self-Employment

– Study

– Economic Self-Sufficiency

You’re usually eligible for a

  – Registration Certificate: if you’ve lived in the UK for less than 5 years as a qualified person.

  – Permanent Residence Document: if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years as a qualified person.

Retaining a Right of Residence

It is  possible for a family member to ‘retain’ a right of residence in the UK where the European national dies or leaves the UK, or where the family member is a spouse or civil partner, if the relationship breaks down.
Divorce from an EEA citizen

– If you are a non-EEA citizen and you are married to an EEA citizen, you may be allowed to stay in the UK in case of the divorce.

– If a non-EEA citizen has been married to an EEA citizen for at least 3 years and they resided in the UK for at least 12 months and both of them were economically active in the UK during the divorce proceedings, then a non-EEA citizen may be granted further leave to stay in the UK.

Continued right of residence during separation / Marital breakdown

– A non-EEA national who is the spouse / civil partner of an EEA national does not cease to be a family member in the event of marital breakdown / separation as long as the EEA national continues to exercise Treaty rights in the United Kingdom.

– The non-EEA national continues to have a right of residence until such time as a divorce is finalized, (a Decree Absolute is obtained) / the civil partnership is dissolved.

– However, a non-EEA national spouse / civil partner will lose their right of residence if the EEA national leaves the United Kingdom, unless the non-EEA qualifies for a retention right of residence as detailed above.

We can assist our clients by –
  • We can advise on the correct documentation needed for your situation and assist you to obtain your Residence documents.
  • We can apply for a document to prove your right to live in the UK if you’re a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland or you are a non EEA family member of EEA citizens.
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