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EEA Permanent Residence - EEA PR

The key premise of the EEA PR application is: if an EEA national has resided for a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a qualified person, they have acquired permanent residence in the UK. A qualified person means that such an individual is exercising treaty rights. Treaty rights are defined as either a job seeker, a worker, self-employed, self-sufficient or a student. They can all be combined or simply one of these types (see below) of treaty right can be exercised.

The Requirements

As mentioned earlier, permanent residency in the UK for EEA nationals entail that such an EEA national must be a qualified person, exercising treaty rights in the UK. If an EEA national has a family member, which includes spouses or extended family members (durable partners), they too can make an application for Permanent Residence if the European national exercises his or her treaty rights. Exercise of treaty rights involves the following.

  • Job seekers: - To qualify as a job seeker, you must be able to demonstrate that you are not only actively looking for a job, you actually do have a realistic chance of getting one. Your job search must be in tandem with realistic prospects of landing the job. This rule is in line with regulation 6 (4) of the Immigration (EEA) Regulation of 2006. In summary the requirements for exercising treaty rights as a job seeker are:
    • You are registered as having been in employment for at least one year before becoming unemployed or you have just completed a registration as a job seeker;
    • You have been out of employment for a period not exceeding 6 months;
    • You can demonstrate that you are looking for a job in the UK and have a realistic change of securing a job in the UK.
  • Workers: - If you are currently working in the UK, you fall under the definition of a qualified person or are regarded as exercising treaty rights as a worker. Employment in this instance may either be full or part time. Importantly, such a worker must be able to sustain themselves without recourse to public funds to be within the definition. There are however situations in which a person is currently unemployed may still qualify as a worker. Such instances revolve around the European national being temporarily unemployed or unemployed as a result of the following: -
    • Sickness or accident
    • Voluntary or involuntary unemployment
    • Started a vocational training
  • Self-employed Person:- In order to be a qualified person as self-employed, you have to be registered with the HMRC for income tax and NI contributions. You must be able to evidence this by way of the document evidence such that you submit to the HMRC. Such documents may include invoices, accountant's letter, bank statements, etc.

    Furthermore, Regulations 6 (3) of the European Regulations 2006 allows that in the event of an illness or accident, whereby a self-employed person becomes temporarily out of work, they may still qualify as self-employed.
  • Self-sufficient person:- The rules defines a self-sufficient person as one who has:
    • Sufficient funds to cater for his/her expenses without having to need help from the government by way of claiming benefits in the UK;
    • They have a comprehensive health insurance for all members of their family living in the UK including themselves;
    • They have financial securities and/or a pension sufficient to cover themselves whilst in the UK;
    • Is working for a charity which takes care of their living expenses in the UK. Importantly the charity support must be sufficient enough to meet the living cost of both the individual and his family members living in the UK.
  • Student:- Exercising treaty rights also includes a student, as long as they are studying at an appropriately regulated institution. Importantly documentary evidence including bank statements, comprehensive sickness insurance, would still have to be provided to show that the student has enough funds to support themselves in the UK without needing financial support from the government. It is also important that the institution of learning in which the EEA national (student) is enrolled in, must be recognized as a provider of that course or training.

Continuous residence of 5 years

A key factor in qualifying for PR, is the continuous residence for at least 5 years in the UK as a qualified person (as defined above). Importantly, the 5 year period does not have to be the last 5 year period. Any 5 year period as a qualified person automatically qualifies you as having obtained permanent residence status in the UK, and so your current status may not have bearing to the application if you can show that you have retrospectively exercised treaty rights for 5 years.

The good thing about this rule is that whether you have applied for it or not, if you, as an EEA national have stayed in the UK for 5 years as a qualified person you automatically obtained permanent residence in the UK, regardless of whether you have applied for the card or any document to confirm it nor not. Let's give an example to put this into perspective; if your parents are both British born in London and you, like your parent was also born in London, you do not need to apply to a British passport to be British. You are automatically British in law. But if you want to go on holiday, you need a passport and you need to show that you are British at the airport, so you can come back into the country. You will then need to apply for a British passport. This is the same with permanent residence. You may not have physical evidence that you are a permanent residence card holder, but in the eyes of law, where your true immigration status is the primary focus, you hold Permanent Residence. For the sake of travel, employer and alike, Permanent Residence is a must.

Permanent Residence Immigration Lawyers London

Our European law experts boast of over 30 years of experience in immigration law; we are able to advice you on all matters of the European law including permanent residence applications.

After Brexit, we have now dedicate a full team of lawyers to help with permanent residence applications. What we do is simple, we access if you qualify for a permanent residence card or not, then we prepare a list of document we believe you would need to support your application, and we basically take it up from you from there. Give us a call today for a free assessment on 020 3439 9270 or drop us an email on; and one of our immigration lawyers will contact you as soon they become available.

Immigration related enquiries

Enquiry has been dealt with in private by one of our specialist advisers

Enquiry has been dealt with in private by one of our specialist advisers

This enquiry has been responded to in private by one of our immigration solicitors

The first question i would like to ask is what nationality are you and what is your current immigration status in the UK? You may either be a British national, a settled person or a visa national. The applications you can make for your parent would depend on your current immigration status.

You mentioned that you have lived in the UK for more than 10 years, this suggests that you may qualify for permanent residence if you are a visa national.

This enquiry has been fully dealt with by one of our PR specialists.

As we are regulated advisers it is not in our or even your best interest if we simply do the form filling for you. It is better for both of us if we have to go through your documents. We normally send our clients a list of documents they need to show to evidence thier case as part of thier application. If this is something you are happy with, we are more than happy to go through the process. However if this is not the case, we may not be able to simply fill forms for you.

From your enquiry, it appears that you are looking at applying for a UK Permanent residence card. As an EU national, you do not qualify for anything because you have lived in the UK for 3 years. You have to have lived in the UK for over 5 years; in that period you must also have either been working, self employed, self sufficient or studying.
Unfortunately, you do not qualify for permanent residence at this stage.

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