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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; and one of our immigration lawyers will contact you as soon they become available.