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Does EEA2 expire after EEA-national stops being a student?

Use this section for queries concerning applications on any of the EEA series of forms, and also for applications for EEA Family Permits.

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amoeba
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Does EEA2 expire after EEA-national stops being a student?

Post by amoeba » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:45 am

Dear all,

I have read quite a lot about EEA1/EEA2, but am still unsure about the following. My wife is German (EEA), I am Russian (non-EEA) and we are both graduate PhD students in UK. My current Tier 4 student visa expires in the end of June, but both of us will be finished only in September.

1. I can apply for a EEA2 residence card because my wife is "exercising her Treaty rights" by being a student. Will this card be only valid as long as my wife continues to be a student? Is there an expiry date on these residence cards, and will it only last until September (with the high risk of me not getting it before September anyway)? After we graduate, my wife might be unemployed for some time because of maternity. Or is this card valid for, say, 5 years whatever my wife does after getting her PhD?

2. If I get a job (probably a postdoc) and my wife is unemployed (maternity + looking for a job), will she be "exercising her Treaty rights"? Does it make sense for her to apply for an EEA1 card now while she is still a student, to be able to stay in UK afterwards? Will an EEA1 card be valid after she is not a student anymore?

3. I understand that I don't NEED to apply for a EEA2 card as I (theoretically) have the right to stay in UK without any visas or permits as a family member. Is it possible to get employed (as a postdoc) by a university on these grounds? It seems that universities require me to have either a visa, or a EEA2 card.

4. If we send our EEA1/EEA2 applications, I would immediately ask Home Office to send our passports back because we might need to travel in the meantime (I know that getting back to UK might be a problem, but I would risk it). Would they also return our marriage certificate? I might need it to persuade the airline or border officers that I may return to UK.

Thank you very much, any help will be really appreciated.
A.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Mon Jun 11, 2012 6:10 pm

Residence documentation is generally issued for five years. However, they do not confer any rights as such.

The following is what is important:

In order for you to live legally as the family member of an EU national, the EU national needs to live in accordance with the 2006 regulations and this means in general that they need to be a student, worker or self-sufficient person.

maviesk
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Post by maviesk » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:27 pm

To number 2, if you are working and supporting both of you, the. Your wife can claim to be exercising her rights under the self-sufficient category as far as I'm aware.

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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Mon Jun 11, 2012 7:40 pm

maviesk wrote:To number 2, if you are working and supporting both of you, the. Your wife can claim to be exercising her rights under the self-sufficient category as far as I'm aware.
Correct, provided that she complies with all the UK's requirements for a self-sufficient person.

amoeba
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Post by amoeba » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:44 pm

Thank you, EUsmileWEallsmile!
EUsmileWEallsmile wrote:Residence documentation is generally issued for five years. However, they do not confer any rights as such.
Fair enough. In practice, however, I imagine that once you have a 5-year long EEA2 residence permit nobody will check if your wife continues to be a student or not. Or am I wrong here?

In any case, I guess that I would not want to enter a grey zone and would apply for a Tier 2 visa if I do get a job. Even though the fees are just mad.

amoeba
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Post by amoeba » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:51 pm

maviesk wrote:To number 2, if you are working and supporting both of you, the. Your wife can claim to be exercising her rights under the self-sufficient category as far as I'm aware.
Thank you, maviesk! I like the idea of my wife exercising Treaty rights by being self-sufficient due to my salary, and me having a permission to work because my wife is exercising Treaty rights. Sounds completely mad :)

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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:05 pm

amoeba wrote:...I imagine that once you have a 5-year long EEA2 residence permit nobody will check if your wife continues to be a student or not...
Quite likely you're right. However, one would run into problems in trying to secure permanent residence later on if one did not comply with the conditions in the regulations.

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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:11 pm

amoeba wrote: In any case, I guess that I would not want to enter a grey zone
This would not be a grey zone, your wife would simply need to comply with the conditions in the regulations. They are not particularly difficult to comply with.

amoeba
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Post by amoeba » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:25 pm

Hmm, so you think such a circular arrangement can really work? All right, I will think about it, thank you. Is there any information about how much should a family (in this case, mine) income be in order for a person (my wife) to be considered self-sufficient? Let's say given N kids.

Thanks again.

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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Mon Jun 11, 2012 9:38 pm

amoeba wrote:Hmm, so you think such a circular arrangement can really work? All right, I will think about it, thank you. Is there any information about how much should a family (in this case, mine) income be in order for a person (my wife) to be considered self-sufficient? Let's say given N kids.

Thanks again.
Absolutely. The income level is not fixed, but if you've enough to live on, then you're fine.

There are other requirements for being self-sufficient, CSI being one, but you need that for being a student in any case, so expect that's been dealt with.

amoeba
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Re: Does EEA2 expire after EEA-national stops being a studen

Post by amoeba » Wed Jun 13, 2012 4:46 pm

amoeba wrote:3. I understand that I don't NEED to apply for a EEA2 card as I (theoretically) have the right to stay in UK without any visas or permits as a family member. Is it possible to get employed (as a postdoc) by a university on these grounds? It seems that universities require me to have either a visa, or a EEA2 card.
I contacted the Research Office of the University of Cambridge, but they were unable to properly answer this question. So I did my research myself. According to the UKBA's "FULL GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS ON PREVENTING ILLEGAL WORKING IN THE UK", to be employed in this situation one has either to have a family residence card, or a Certificate of Application [for the residence card] which explicitly permits working. If one did not apply for the EEA2 card, one will not able to be employed. See List B, entry number 5.
amoeba wrote:4. If we send our EEA1/EEA2 applications, I would immediately ask Home Office to send our passports back because we might need to travel in the meantime (I know that getting back to UK might be a problem, but I would risk it). Would they also return our marriage certificate? I might need it to persuade the airline or border officers that I may return to UK.
It seems that for 10 pounds one can get a certified copy (essentially, another "original") of the UK marriage certificate, so this is not a problem.

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Re: Does EEA2 expire after EEA-national stops being a studen

Post by Jambo » Wed Jun 13, 2012 5:51 pm

amoeba wrote: I contacted the Research Office of the University of Cambridge, but they were unable to properly answer this question. So I did my research myself. According to the UKBA's "FULL GUIDE FOR EMPLOYERS ON PREVENTING ILLEGAL WORKING IN THE UK", to be employed in this situation one has either to have a family residence card, or a Certificate of Application [for the residence card] which explicitly permits working. If one did not apply for the EEA2 card, one will not able to be employed. See List B, entry number 5.
legally speaking, you are allowed to work. In practice, it would be difficult to convince an employer of that. CoA is normally issued within a month after applying for RC.

EUsmileWEallsmile
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Post by EUsmileWEallsmile » Wed Jun 13, 2012 8:42 pm

Let me get this right. Your wife is German and a student (make sure she has comprehensive sickness insurance). You can apply for a residence card tomorrow if you like. Your COA, which you can use to demonstrate your right to work should be with you reasonably quickly.

You can ask for your passports back and as you appear to have a valid visa, you won't be hindered from traveling until it expires. You may have more difficulty traveling after it expires while you wait for your residence card.

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