The EEA Family Permit UK Regulations impose a requirement that “an EEA family permit issued under this regulation must be issued free of charge and as soon as possible” (Regulation 12(6) of the Regulations). However, there remain grey areas, which end up affecting the lives of the family of EEA members.
One such Example (names have been altered)
Ravi is a direct family member of an EEA Resident permit UK holder whose residence card expired in May 2016. He did not apply for his EEA Permanent Residence card until July 2016 and was forced to quit his job soon after that; his employer was not convinced that Ravi had a right to work until he obtained his EEA permanent residence card. “The person in such a situation has a right to reside but not the right to work during the time in which he did not apply for his EEA(PR)”, was the reply he got from the Home Office. It is apparent that the Home Office referred to the period between the expiry of the residence card and the application date.
The Regulations require that the applicant must be in the UK. It does not, however, address the applicant’s rights at the time of the process. SO do applicants like Ravi have a legal right to reside and work in the UK after the expiration of their residence card?
The answer: Ravi has the right to reside and work as long his EEA national sponsor remains a “qualified person” in the UK and the relationship is subsisting. Usually, the Certificate of Application is what confirms these rights to stay and work in the UK. However, a Certificate of Application is issued only after the submission of biometrical data. Hence there is quite a delay in the confirmation of rights of the applicant. And as Ravi recounts, regardless of the immigration advice and the confirmation of his right to work, his employers stuck with their decision to not continue his employment.
It is advisable to apply in advance in order to receive the Certificate of Application and thus have a confirmation of the rights to stay and work in the UK. If you need an immigration advice on YOUR immigration status or application, please do not leave it until the last minute and do not hesitate to contact professional immigration attorneys who can help you.
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