I’m separating: what will happen to my right of residence?

QUESTION: I was once married to an EEA national and obtained a 5-year residence permit based on my marriage which is due to expire in March 2014. However, we have recently separated and I’m worried about my legal status.

A) Where divorce proceedings have not been implemented for at least 3 years (so the marriage lasted 3 years and your EEA national spouse was exercising treaty rights), then it will be possible for you to apply to make an application to “retain their right of residence” to remain in the UK.

This effectively means that you can apply to remain in the UK for a further 5 years and if your application is granted by UKBA, then following completion of 10 years, you can apply for Permanent Residence and after a further one year of holding permanent residence you can then apply for Naturalisation s a British citizen.

The law is as follows:

A person who ceases to be a family member of a qualified person on termination of a marriage or civil partnership will retain a right of residence if:

1) the marriage or partnership lasted for at least three years immediately before the initiation of proceedings for divorce, annulment or dissolution, and

2) the parties to the marriage or civil partnership had resided in the UK for at least one year during the duration of the marriage or civil partnership, or

3) the former spouse or civil partner of the qualified person has custody of the children or a right of access to the children in the UK, or

4) there are particularly difficult circumstances (such as domestic violence) justifying the retention of the right of residence.

In such circumstances a family member retains a right of residence.

by Raheela Hussain,

Principal Solicitor of Greenfields Solicitors


The above article is meant to be relied upon as an informative article and in no way constitutes legal advice. For legal advice regarding your case, please contact Greenfields Solicitors on 020 8884 1166 for a Consultation with a Solicitor.

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