The right of permanent residence for EEA nationals and their family members under European Law is laid out in Chapter IV of Directive 2004/38 and Regulation 15 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006.
EEA nationals and their family members who have lived in the UK continuously for 5 years exercising their EEA free movement rights will acquire the right of permanent residence. In certain circumstances however the right of permanent residence is acquired in less than 5 years.
Continuity of residence is not affected by temporary absences which don’t exceed 6 months in a given year.
However once permanent residence in the UK has been acquired, it can be lost if there is an absence from the UK for more than 2 consecutive years.
The right of permanent residence is not absolute and is subject to Regulation 19(b) concerning Public Policy, Public Security and Public Health requirements being met.
Should I get legal advice?
As with any other legal matter, you should consider getting specialist legal advice and representation for your permanent residence application. Otherwise, you may end up making a costly mistake resulting in refusal of your application. That refusal may also complicate things further as any future application may also be impacted by the initial refusal.
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Eligibility for EEA Permanent Residence
The following are eligible for permanent residence in the UK:
- ♠ EEA nationals who have lived in the UK continuously for 5 years exercising free movement rights (e.g. lived as worker, self-employed, self-sufficient, student);
- ♠ Non-EEA national family members who have lived in the UK continuously for 5 years during which time their EEA national family member has been exercising free movement rights;
- ♠ A worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity;
- ♠ The family member of an EEA worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity;