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EEA Family Permit - Where do I stand?

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

Moderators: Casa, JAJ, ca.funke, Amber, Zimba, vinny, Obie, EUsmileWEallsmile, batleykhan, geriatrix, John, ChetanOjha, archigabe, push

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abbb
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EEA Family Permit - Where do I stand?

Post by abbb » Wed Oct 10, 2012 8:37 pm

Hi,


First I'd like to say I think you guys are fantastic for running a forum like this. So far this is the first place I have been able to find good (none-paid, non-legal-gibberish) on UK Immigration laws, and I've been searching a lot.

Second with regard to information, I have read everything I have come across and I still have a lot of questions. Rather I am unsure and would like some insight and confirmation. Please correct me if I am wrong at any point in my assumptions.


My situation:
I am a Danish national who grew up in Norway (Lived in Denmark till I was 7, moved to Norway). I have a Danish (EU) passport. I do not have a Norwegian citizenship or passport. Either way this should make me a EU/EEA citizen for UK visa purposes.

I came to live in the UK in August 2008, having previously spent a year studying on exchange during the academic year of 2005-06. I have been living in the UK permanently since August 2008 and I know I have Settled Status. Unless my math is horribly off, I would obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in August 2013.

I work full time, and study full time on the Open University towards a BSc in Programming and IT. While I definitely earn more than the nat min wage, I have received financial support to cover part of my University fees. I have never had a loan or owed money otherwise and I am very good with my finances.

I would like to apply for an EEA Family Permit so that my partner of just over two years can come and live with me here in the UK.

She is originally Russian but lives and has lived in Israel for the majority of her life. She only has an Israeli Passport. She works full time and has a degree. She speaks excellent English, bar the accent.

We met in London and have been together for just over two years. We have never actually 'lived' together in that sense of the word but we visit each other and spend almost every non-working waking hour talking on skype. We have skype logs, text messages and hundreds of pictures to testify to our relationship.

We intend to marry but have not yet done so. We intend to stay, live and work in the UK permanently.





My questions:
What are our chances and am I considering the correct category? What category would you recommend?

More Specifically:
Will my financial support towards my University fees count as claiming benefits for the purpose of the application criteria?

Are we better off not marrying before we apply and go down the proving relationship route or should we marry and then apply?

When the criteria states 'living together for two years' does this mean physically co-located? I assume it does, but would like it clarified. Furthermore how does this impact us when this is not the case?

Would our case be made easier by me obtaining indefinite leave to remain?

Where do I go to get started? Is it better to pay the fee and submit in person or is the waiting time the same? For my particular situation, what documentation is most important?



I'm sorry if all this has been asked before, I have read the stickies and I'm still unsure. Thank you in advance!


- Abbb

Jambo
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Re: EEA Family Permit - Where do I stand?

Post by Jambo » Wed Oct 10, 2012 9:35 pm

A few corrections:
abbb wrote:I have been living in the UK permanently since August 2008 and I know I have Settled Status. Unless my math is horribly off, I would obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain in August 2013.
You don't have a settled status. Settled status = having ILR or PR which you don't have yet. You will not obtain Indefinite Leave to Remain as this is for people under the UK domestic visa system. You will obtain Permanent Residence under the EEA regulations. It's similar to ILR in that it is considered 'settled' but the two has some subtle differences between them.
My questions:
What are our chances and am I considering the correct category? What category would you recommend?
If married and you are working, no issues.
More Specifically:
Will my financial support towards my University fees count as claiming benefits for the purpose of the application criteria?
If you are working, probably not.
Are we better off not marrying before we apply and go down the proving relationship route or should we marry and then apply?
When the criteria states 'living together for two years' does this mean physically co-located? I assume it does, but would like it clarified. Furthermore how does this impact us when this is not the case?
The UK doesn't recognise remote relationship as durable relationship. You are expected to have lived together for 2 years as unmarried couple or to be married.
Would our case be made easier by me obtaining indefinite leave to remain?

Not really and you will only gain PR (not ILR) in August 2013.
Where do I go to get started? Is it better to pay the fee and submit in person or is the waiting time the same? For my particular situation, what documentation is most important?
Which fee are you talking about? Application is free.

I suggest you read EEA FAQs - Common Questions - Read before posting.

abbb
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Post by abbb » Wed Oct 10, 2012 10:13 pm

Apologies if I am using the incorrect terminology with regard to Settled Status. I was tested for being considered settled in the UK as a criteria for being granted financial support for my University Fees. Given that they where granted, I assume that means I am considered settled (they listed the criteria for being settled as being habitually resident for 3 consecutive years). Thank you for pointing out that there is a difference between ILR and PR, I was unaware.

I asked if I am considering the correct category and what our chances are. You say if we are married, and I am working there should be no issue. You then say that a remote relationship is not considered durable. I outlined that we are not married and that our relationship is remote in nature. So this is not a viable category of visa for me to consider? Would a fiancée visa or EEA equivalent be better? Is there an EEA equivalent to the fiancée visa?

The fee I am referring to is for application submission in person (as opposed to by post) the only reason I brought it up was because I read about it in this thread: http://www.immigrationboards.com/viewtopic.php?t=76824.

I'm sorry if I am posting questions that have already been answered but I have already read the link you posted and just re-read it. It might be that I am just thick, but I don't really comprehend legal material all that well, even when rephrased in a less technical manner. This is also something that matters a lot to me, that I do not which to mess up, and thus I exhibit a great deal of anxiety in getting it all right. I pester you with these queries because in spite of reading the material already available on this site, I remain unsure of how best to proceed.

Thank ever so much for your quick response and clarification.


- Abbb

Jambo
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Post by Jambo » Wed Oct 10, 2012 11:24 pm

No problem. Don't worry about the terms. It's understanding the principal that matters.

The EEA regulations allow free movement within the EEA states to EEA nationals and their family members. The EEA regulations define family members as spouse or unmarried couple in durable relationship. The UK requires 2 years of co-habitation for the relationship to be considered durable.

In your case, your relationship is unlikely to be recognised. You did ask the question whether you should marry before the move or not. Marriage is a big step but if you were married, the immigration process becomes very simple.

There isn't a question of category or type of visa. For EEA nationals and their family members, there is only one route/category to apply.

There is a possibility to apply for a fiancée visa. This is under the UK national immigration rules (and not the EEA regulations). It will cost money, require your fiancée to pass an English test and for you to prove your have suitable accommodation. If you are married (and apply under EEA regulations), the only requirement is your marriage certificate and proof of your employment in the UK. Nothing else.

The in-person option was an option the HO was considering but it never materialised (and will never be as it is against the EEA regulations).

The easiest way for you to live together in the UK is to get married before the move, for your spouse to move to the UK (she doesn't require a visa for that) and then apply for a 5 years Residence Card (free of charge).

Other options are fiancée visa (but if you are getting married anyway better to do it before the move) or your partner can find an employer in the UK who would be willing to sponsor her a visa to work in the UK or she could study in the UK and apply for a student visa.

abbb
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Post by abbb » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:38 pm

Jambo wrote: The EEA regulations allow free movement within the EEA states to EEA nationals and their family members. The EEA regulations define family members as spouse or unmarried couple in durable relationship. The UK requires 2 years of co-habitation for the relationship to be considered durable.
So even when we get married we would have to somehow live together for two whole years before we would be eligible under the EEA family member rules?
Jambo wrote: In your case, your relationship is unlikely to be recognised. You did ask the question whether you should marry before the move or not. Marriage is a big step but if you were married, the immigration process becomes very simple.

There isn't a question of category or type of visa. For EEA nationals and their family members, there is only one route/category to apply.

There is a possibility to apply for a fiancée visa. This is under the UK national immigration rules (and not the EEA regulations). It will cost money, require your fiancée to pass an English test and for you to prove your have suitable accommodation. If you are married (and apply under EEA regulations), the only requirement is your marriage certificate and proof of your employment in the UK. Nothing else.
You say it becomes simpler if we marry, is this in the way that you say if we become married all we would need is the marriage certificate and proof of employment in the UK. Would we not still have to prove durable relationship which according to UK rules we can't as we have not been co-habiting? Would getting married and then applying not be looked suspiciously upon like a marriage of convenience irrespective of the fact that it is genuine?
Jambo wrote:The in-person option was an option the HO was considering but it never materialised (and will never be as it is against the EEA regulations).
Ok.
Jambo wrote:The easiest way for you to live together in the UK is to get married before the move, for your spouse to move to the UK (she doesn't require a visa for that) and then apply for a 5 years Residence Card (free of charge).
Again would we not still have to live together for 2 years beforehand/prove durable relationship? If not do we have to get married in the UK or my home country or would any country in the EEA do? Is it really so simple as getting married and just apply for a residence card?

Greenie
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Post by Greenie » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:46 pm

You have misunderstood. Married couples are not required to have lived together for two years. That's only the requirement for unmarried couples.

abbb
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Post by abbb » Thu Oct 11, 2012 5:57 pm

Greenie wrote:You have misunderstood. Married couples are not required to have lived together for two years. That's only the requirement for unmarried couples.

That is fantastic news! But surely there is some catch with regards to the marriage being considered valid? Do we have to have married in a specific country? Could we do it in the UK before obtaining a residency permit? I somehow doubt the UKBA would that lenient.

mcovet
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Post by mcovet » Thu Oct 11, 2012 8:27 pm

look, she can enter as a non-visa national and you give notice to registrar and 15 days later get married
http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Governmentc ... /DG_175717

there is no difference where you get married, in the UK or Israel. Any legal marriage is recognised by the UKBA. Further, I don't think you can get a fiancee visa for her as you are an EEA national and the fiancee visa (which also costs money) is only for the Brits or settled people (ILR holders or the PR holders, which you will get next year).

Further, once you are married, you immediately apply on form EEA2 for a RC for her. And that is where you may have to use the records of your endless conversations on skype etc. as proof that your marriage was not one of convenience. (ridiculous term as marriages are for convenience in the first place :))

so, get married ASAP if you are serious about it, and then everything is sorted. Being unmarried, distant partners complicates everything a tad bit.

One thing would be helpful for you both if she visited for 90 days and you lived together for a bit to get to know each other before such serious commitment, but that's my opinion.

Jambo
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Post by Jambo » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:18 pm

abbb wrote:That is fantastic news! But surely there is some catch with regards to the marriage being considered valid? Do we have to have married in a specific country? Could we do it in the UK before obtaining a residency permit? I somehow doubt the UKBA would that lenient.
No catch. The UK recognise foreign marriages as long as they are legally recognised by the country they are conducted in.

I suggest you marry before moving to the UK. I also suggest your partner doesn't apply for a EEA Family Permit and just travel together with you to the UK. As an Israeli she doesn't need a visa to travel. See the FAQ for more details.

Applying for a EEA Family Permit from outside the UK shortly after marriage would give the HO opportunity to claim marriage of convenience. If you show up at the border with a marriage certificate (and extra proof of relationship as backup), they must allow her to enter (even if they suspect the marriage as she is allowed an appeal in country).

Jambo
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Post by Jambo » Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:22 pm

mcovet wrote:Further, I don't think you can get a fiancee visa for her as you are an EEA national and the fiancee visa (which also costs money) is only for the Brits or settled people (ILR holders or the PR holders, which you will get next year).
Not entirely correct. For the purpose of fiancée visa, a EEA national exercising treaty rights is considered settled and his fiancée is eligible to apply (and meeting all the UK immigration visa requirements). See para 290.

abbb
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Post by abbb » Sat Oct 13, 2012 5:44 pm

Thank you all ever so much! I finally have a clear idea of how to proceed.

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