In the run-up to Brexit, it has never been more important for EU nationals and their family members to seek documents confirming their rights to reside in the UK. Whilst we fully expect the majority of those lawfully resident here before Brexit to be able to continue to settle here following March 2019, the Home Office have yet to fully disclose their intentions and requirements for applications. We are expecting these in autumn 2018 at the earliest. There should be a transitional period between March 2019-2021 to allow for those who have yet to obtain documents confirming their right to residence to secure their ongoing status in the UK. At the moment, EU law continues to operate in the UK as normal.

Registration certificates and permanent residence

If you are an EU national living in the UK and either employed, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient, you can apply to the Home Office for a Registration Certificate. This will confirm that you are lawfully present in the UK and will be a helpful document to have in your possession ahead of the Brexit transitional provisions.

Once you have completed 5 years in the UK undertaking these activities continuously, you are able to apply for another document confirming Permanent Residence. This means that you are settled in the UK and no longer need to keep undertaking economic activity in order to reside here.

Immediate family members (spouses/partners/children/dependent parents and grandparents)

As long as you can show that you are an EU national living in the UK and you are qualified person (i.e. employed, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient), you are entitled to have your family members either join you in the UK or for those already here to be issued Residence Cards. For partners you will need to show that you are married/in a civil partnership or have cohabited for at least 2 years. Whilst these are relatively straightforward applications under the law, the Home Office can be very strict with their views on supporting evidence.

Extended family members

Extended family members of an EU nationals are able to apply to enter/be issued with a Residence Card in limited circumstances. The person they wish to sponsor must be either mostly financially dependent on the EU national or be a member of their household/have been one prior to the EU national coming to the UK.

Please note, following a change in the law in 2017, the extended family members of an EU national’s partner are no longer eligible for such documents.

Retained rights of residence

If you are the family member of an EU national who you have divorced or they have passed away, you may be entitled to continue your residence in the UK following these events. This will depend on how long you have been married or the length of time spent in the UK either before the divorce or death. If you think you might benefit from these provisions, please feel free to get in touch.

Derivative rights of residence

If you are not an EU national but are the primary carer of an EU national child, you can apply for Residence Card that will remain valid until they are an adult. You will generally need to show that the child is in full-time education in the UK.

This route is likely to end following Brexit so, if you believe they fall into this category, you should seek advice urgently.

For specialist advice on this area of immigration law and how it applies to your individual circumstances, please contact us today on 0161 248 4444 to speak to a member of our team.

Our immigration experts provide professional, confidential advice and speak a range of languages including Persian, Farsi, Urdu, Punjabi, Kurdish, Arabic, and Polish.