Right of Residence After partnership ends

Right of Residence After partnership ends

You may be concerned at what will happen at the end of a partnership if you rely on your partner for your right to remain in the UK and you are a non-EEA national. In this article we look at your rights at the end of a partnership, whether it be a partnership, civil partnership or marriage. We also offer some practical advice and information that you can apply to your situation as a potential solution.

Can I remain in the UK after my partnership has come to an end?

Under certain circumstances you may be able to retain your right to remain in the UK after the end of a partnership. As long as you fall into one of the of the following situations then you may indeed have a so-called "retained right" to remain in the UK;


  • The marriage or partnership lasted for at least three years before the process to end the relationship had begun.
  • The parties in the partnership had resided in the UK for at least one year during the duration of the marriage or civil partnership.
  • 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.
  • There are extenuating circumstances (such as domestic violence) justifying the right of residence.

What documentary evidence will I need to provide to prove the relationship has ended?

You will of course need to prove that the relationship has ended in order to retain the rights that you had whilst in the partnership with your partner. The following documents will be required to prove that the relationship has come to an end;


  • A valid passport in your name
  • 2 passport size colour photographs for your application
  • Evidence of your relationship to the EEA national, such as a marriage certificate or any other identification as laid out in the application. You may also be required to provide other information that proves that you have lived together.
  • Proof of your family member's identity and nationality, such as a passport
  • Proof that your family member had permanent residence or had been a 'qualified person' in the UK

There are also other documents that may be required to prove your eligibility, but you will be asked for these only if they're applicable to you application. Failure to provide these details may result in you not being able to retain your right to remain in the UK. If you are unsure as to any of these details then please get in touch and our immigration specialists can help to form your application and gather together the documents that you will need.

How long do we need to have been in a partnership for to qualify for "retained right"?

In the case of a divorce, you and your partner will have needed to have been in a partnership for at least 3 years before dissolution proceedings were begun, this is to ensure that you have lived in the UK as a partnership for the appropriate amount of time to qualify for a "retained right". If you are unsure as to whether you do qualify, please get in touch and one of our immigration specialists will be happy to help take a look at your case.

It is vital that you do qualify - as otherwise you will be refused. We understand that it can be difficult to deal with this situation and that is why we offer a complete service to help to take care of this application process for you. For more information on this or any other of our services then please get in touch.

How can I apply for a "Retained rights EEA Family Permit?

You must submit an application online for an EEA Family Permit. You will need to fill out the application as completely as possible and it is important that you get the details correct as you may not be able to change the application once it has been submitted. Incorrect details are likely to trigger a refusal, so why not talk to our immigration specialists before going through with your application?

Are there alternatives to "retained rights"?

Depending on your situation there may well be a better alternative for you to follow. If you have children then that may well change your rights, you may also be better suited to trying to apply for a different visa altogether such as a Tier 2 General Visa. Give us a call today and we can help to figure out what the best option is for you going forward and we can even help to submit applications on your behalf.

The UK offers many different options for those looking to move to it, and there is often more than one visa route that is open for an individual, with that in mind it is always best to seek advice from specialists such as ours - so call today and let us guide you through the immigration system.

Can I lodge an appeal if the Home Office refuse me?

Yes, under certain circumstances you may be able to lodge an appeal if the Home Office refuse your case; in this instance we can advise you on how best to move forward, and if applicable we can even handle your appeal. We can also advise on whether an appeal is the best way to proceed, or whether it may be better to switch to a completely different tactic. Every situation is different and it is hard to offer blanket answers in this case - we would always urge you to get in touch so we can discuss your case in detail.

Where can I get more help?

If you get in touch today then our immigration solicitors can help with your immigration query - they have years of experience in helping people just like you to live and move to the UK and there is no doubt that we will have a solution to help. So call today for advice and information on your query - you will be glad you did.

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