How to Remain in the UK if You are a Family Member of an EEA Citizen and Became a Victim of Domestic Violence?
If you are a family member of an EEA citizen, your rights are generally attached to the rights of your EEA citizen family member. In other words, you’ll have a right to remain in the UK if you are a close family member of an EEA national.
There are circumstances where family members of EEA citizens can remain in the UK even though their relationship broke down. Sometimes they can retain their residence rights even after the EEA citizen left the UK. These rights are legally known as ‘retained rights of residence’.
There are four types of retained rights of residence. In this article, I’ll explain the one which you can get if you become a victim of domestic violence.
This article describes only the rules relating to family members of EEA citizens when applying under the EU Settlement scheme. Family members of British citizens will need to apply under different Immigration rules.
How to Remain in the UK if You are a Family Member of an EEA Citizen and Became a Victim of Domestic Violence: Changes from 4 June 2020
Before 4 June 2020, only former spouses or civil partners could apply as a victim of domestic violence. To succeed, they needed to provide evidence to prove that they or their partner legally terminated marriage or civil partnership. Also that they became a victim of domestic violence or abuse while the marriage or civil partnership was subsisting.
The Secretary of State has recently changed the Immigration Rules. From 4 June 2020, these changes will mean that any family member within the scope of the EU Settlement Scheme could apply for their retained right of residence. The EU Settlement Scheme allows family members to make an application to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020.
‘Any Family Member’ Definition
Who is ‘any family member’? The definition includes spouses and civil/durable partners. Also, children, dependent parents or dependent relatives can apply.
How to Remain in the UK if You are a Family Member of an EEA Citizen and Became a Victim of Domestic Violence: What do You Need to Prove?
- The person who claims retained rights of residence (the applicant) is an EEA citizen or a non-EEA citizen; and
- The applicant ceased to be a family member of a relevant EEA citizen on the termination of the marriage or civil partnership of that relevant EEA citizen;
- The applicant was resident in the UK at the date of the termination of the marriage or civil partnership;
- when there ‘difficult circumstances’ such as domestic violence or abuse whilst the marriage or civil partnership was subsisting; OR
- The applicant provides evidence that a relevant family relationship with a relevant EEA citizen has broken down permanently as a result of domestic violence or abuse; and
- The applicant was resident in the UK when the relationship broke down permanently. And this happened as a result of domestic violence or abuse. To have the continued right of residence in the UK you’ll need to prove that domestic violence or abuse happened before the relevant family relationship broke down permanently.
What Does This Mean?
It means that you can make an application in two circumstances. When there was marriage termination or where you permanently separated. Official termination of the marriage or civil partnership is the date on which the order is made by a court.
What Documents Can You Gather in Support of Your Application?
Finally, the Home Office subdivides all evidence into four categories: Conclusive, Strong, Moderate and Weak. The more strong evidence you submit in support of your case, the more chances you have of winning the case.
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