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Retained right of residence

Individuals who previously resided in the UK as the family member of an individual from the EU may be able to remain in the UK if they are eligible to apply for ‘retained right of residence.’

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    Overview of Retained Right of Residence

    Individuals may only be eligible to apply for retained right of residence if their relationship with certain family members of the EU national family member has ended, through various circumstances.

    Your eligible family member must be or have been from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

    Retained right of residence allows a non-EU or non EEA national individual to remain in the EU country they have been living in.

    It is sometimes called indefinite right of permanent residence or permanent or retained rights of residence.

    The UK’s decision to leave the EU does not impact retained right of residence.

    Your application will be nullified if your residence permit expires before you receive your final decision on your application.

    Eligibility

    To be eligible for ‘retained the right of residence’ individuals must have experienced the following scenarios:

    • The individual’s family member has died.
    • You are the child of an EU national, whose parents have died or left the UK, and you have continued plans to study in the UK.
    • You have had a child with an EU member, who has died or left the UK and the child has continued plans to remain in education in the UK.
    • You have divorced, or they have divorced a member of your family.
    • Your relationship has permanently ended due to domestic violence or abuse.

    In the case of your family member passing away

    In the case of an EU national family member passing away, you are able to apply for retained right of residence if you lived continuously in the UK as part of their family for the duration of at least 1 year immediately leading up to their death.

    You are also able to apply if:

    • You were living in the UK as their family member prior to their death.
    • They were working as an employee or self-employed person in the UK before their death.
    • The deceased had been living continuously in the UK for at least 2 years leading up to their death.

    If the family member passed due to an occupational illness or accident at work, they do not have to meet the requirement of having resided in the UK for 2 years the year immediately prior to their death.

    Evidence to provide if your family member has died

    Individuals applying for retained right of residence application will have to provide proof of death, by providing the following documents:

    • The family members’ death certificate.
    • Evidence that you and your family member resided in the UK leading up to their death.
    • Evidence of their employment or self-employment.
    • Evidence of the cause of death if they died as a result of an accident at work or from an occupational disease.

    In the case of being in education in the UK

    You are able to apply for retained right of residence if you are in education in the UK and your eligible family member is your:

    • Parent who has left the UK or died.
    • Parent’s spouse or civil partner who has left the UK or died.

    If relevant, your parent qualified person who has custody over you may be a qualified person eligible to apply.

    Evidence to provide if you have custody over a child in education in the UK

    You will have to provide evidence that:

    • Your family member died or left the UK.
    • You were in education in the UK at the time your family member died or left the UK, and you are still in education in the UK and plan to stay in education.
    • You have custody of a child who was in education in the UK at the time their family member died or left the UK, and the child has plans to continue their education in the UK.

    In the case of you or your family member being previously married or in a civil partnership

    You can apply if you stopped an eligible family member died being the family, spouse or civil partner member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein after their marriage or civil partnership ended with a divorce, a marriage annulment or dissolution.

    You must have been living in the UK when it ended.

    One of the following must also apply:

    • The marriage or civil partnership lasted for at least 3 years and the couple had both been living in the UK for at least one year during that time.
    • You have custody over the child of your previous family member.
    • You have been given right of access in the UK to your previous family member’s child and the child is under the age of 18.
    • You or another family member have experienced difficult circumstances, for example, as the victim of domestic violence or abuse in the marriage or civil partnership.

    You can also apply if a family member had an eligible marriage or civil partnership and you lived in the UK when it ended. You must be their:

    • Related as their child or grandchild under 21.
    • Their dependent child or grandchild over 21.
    • Dependent parent or grandparent.

    Evidence to provide if you or a member of your family was previously married or in a civil partnership

    You will have to provide evidence, depending on your situation, that:

    • The marriage or civil partnership ended in divorce, annulment or dissolution.
    • The marriage or civil partnership lasted for at least 3 years, and you had been living together in the UK for at least a year during that time.
    • You have custody of or the right of access to the child of your previous family member.
    • You or another family member have experienced particularly difficult circumstances, for example, as the victim of domestic violence or abuse in the marriage or civil partnership.

    Do you need help applying for UK Citizenship? Our lawyers can assist you. Get in touch

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      In the case of victims of domestic violence

      You can apply if your family or legally binding relationship with someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein has broken down permanently because of domestic violence or abuse that happened while you were in the UK.

      You can apply if you are or were there:

      • Legal spouse or civil partner.
      • Unmarried civil partner.
      • Child or grandchild under 21.
      • Dependent child or grandchild over 21.
      • Dependent parent or grandparent.

      Evidence to provide if you are a victim of domestic violence or abuse

      If this situation applies to you, you will have to provide evidence that:

      • Your family relationship has broken down permanently as a result of domestic violence or abuse.
      • You were resident in the UK when the family relationship broke down due to domestic violence or abuse.

      Retaining right of residence after divorce

      Once you are divorced from unmarried partner in the relevant EEA national or member, you will need to make an application for pre-settled status under the retained rule of rights.

      Eligibility

      To be eligible to retain right of residence in the uk, after divorce as a non-EEA family member, you must :

      • Be a non-EEA citizen who has terminated the marriage of an EEA citizen.
      • Have been living in the UK legally at the time their marriage or civil partnership ended for at least 1 year leading up to the divorce.

      There are certain supporting documents that you will need to provide in order to prove your identity, these include documents that can prove:

      • Your identity and nationality.
      • The court order issuing the divorce.
      • Your previous partner’s identity and nationality.
      • Your residence at the time of your marriage’s termination.
      • Proof of your marriage to the EEA citizen, such as a marriage certificate.

      Documents you must provide to apply for retained right of residence

      To be eligible to apply, applicants must also provide proof of identity in their first application form. This can come in the form of:

      • A valid passport.
      • A valid national identity card, if you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.

      You may be able to use other proof of identity and nationality if you cannot provide either of these identity documents due to a compelling or compassionate reason such as being unable to source these documents due to illness or national restrictions as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic.

      If this is the case, then you will need to explain why you cannot source these required identity documents and in some cases provide evidence of your situation.

      You must also provide:

      • Your family member’s valid passport, or valid national identity card.
      • Evidence of your relationship to them, for example a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate or birth certificate.
      • Evidence of your continuous residence in the UK.

      How Can IAS Help

      Navigating immigration statuses and what you are eligible for after a relationship has ended can be stressful and confusing, and could result in having to leave the UK.

      There are many options for people who find themselves in this situation, and with the help of our experienced immigration lawyers, finding the best outcome for you and your family could not be more simple.

      Our team of experts have first-hand knowledge of the impact of immigration laws and pathways, providing well-qualified personal assistance and counsel when dealing with sensitive information regarding your case.

      Call us on 0333 305 9375 for immediate help & assistance with your situation. We’re here to help you in person, via the phone or online.

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      We can help you if you need help with your Retained right of residence application. Call us now

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