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EEA Nationals & Their Family

If you are a national of an EEA country or Switzerland you and your family may want to confirm your right to reside in the UK. Depending on how long you have been living in the UK, you may be eligible to apply either for Registration Certificate or Permanent Residence Card.

In this period of uncertainty in connection with Britain leaving the European Union we strongly recommend all EU nationals to confirm their right of residence in the UK as soon as possible.

Registration Certificate

If you are a national of an EEA country or Switzerland and have not yet exercised your Treaty Rights in the UK for continuous period of five years, you may want to confirm your right to live in the UK by applying for Registration Certificate. Registration Certificate is a document issued to a citizen of a EEA country or Switzerland who is currently exercising his/her treaty rights, including working, studying, being self-employed, self-sufficient or looking for work.

Please note that there is generally no requirement for European nationals to obtain a Registration Certificate before coming to live or work in the United Kingdom. However, there may be circumstances in which having the Certificate may be useful to prove your immigration status.

Once your application is successful you will receive the confirmation that you are exercising your Treaty rights in the UK. You may use Registration Certificate for the following purposes:

1. To bring your family members from outside the EEA or Switzerland if they are applying to join you in the UK.
2. To confirm you are currently working, studying, being self-employed, self-sufficient or looking for work.
3. To prove your employer your eligibility to work in the UK if requested.
4. To make your future application for Permanent Residence easier by already providing the Home Office with confirmation of exercising your Treaty rights.

Permanent Residence

If you are a national of an EEA country or Switzerland and have exercised your Treaty Rights in the UK for continuous period of five years, you normally acquire your Permanent Residence status automatically after five years. You are usually exercising your Treaty rights if you are working, studying, being self-employed, self-sufficient or looking for work. Please note that until you provide the evidence of exercising your Treaty rights, the Home Office will not have a written record of when you acquired it.

We strongly recommend all EU nationals to confirm their right of Permanent Residence in the UK as soon as possible. Having a confirmation of your Permanent Residence will enable you to avoid the delays and unnecessary interruptions after Britain leaves the European Union.

Once your application is successful and your right of Permanent Residence is confirmed, this will allow you apply for British citizenship and be a holder of a British passport.

Family Member

If you are a family member or extended family member of an EEA national you may want to join or remain with your family in the UK, subject to certain restrictions. You are advised to apply for an EEA family permit or Residence Card, which will serve as a proof of your entitlement to live in the UK under EU law.

There is a number of benefits of receiving an EEA family permit or Residence Card, including:

1. It will help you re-enter the country more quickly and easily if you travel abroad.
2. It will prove your employers that you are allowed to work in the UK.
3. It will allow you to prove that you qualify for certain benefits and services.

Once you have lived with your family member for a continuous period of five years you will normally be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence along with your family member. We are able to advise you on the requirements and criteria in relation to your application.

Retained Right of Residence

Unfortunately, sometimes your family may break apart for various reasons. We understand that these times may be very stressful from the personal point of view and uncertain in terms of your immigration matters. As a family member of a EEA national, you have a retained right of residence in the UK. We can offer you a smooth and professional service to mitigate your feelings and make the whole process as simple and straightforward for you as possible.

You could have a retained right of residence in the following circumstances:

1. Your, or another member of your family's, marriage or civil partnership to that person has ended (with a divorce, annulment or dissolution).
2. That person has died and you had lived in the UK for at least 1 year before they died.
3. You are 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, you were in education when that person died or left the UK, and you continue to be in education.
4. You are the parent and have custody of a child who has a retained right of residence because they are in education in the UK

You will also need to meet other requirements to be eligible for a retained right of residence and we will specifically advise you in the course of our cooperation.

We will assess the impact the family event may have on you from an immigration perspective and advise you on the best course of action to allow you to stay in the UK. There are a number of options allowing you to stay in the UK and eventually qualify for permanent residence, even when a family unit has broken down.

How we can help you

LS Legal Solicitors offers you an experienced and professional approach and support in every step of your process to make the application successful. Our specialist team that deals with EEA applications will always offer you a friendly and personal approach towards your matter.

Please contact our firm on 020 33 75 42 52, via email on info@LSLegaLUK.com or use the contact box to discuss your matter or make an appointment.