Partner is an EEA National

Partner is an EEA National

Citizens of the countries of the European Economic Area (EEA) are not subject to UK immigration law, and neither are their family members – instead, their immigration status in the UK is regulated by EEA law. In general, the requirements of EEA law are easier to meet than the requirements of UK law, but you can only benefit from EEA law if your partner is not also a British citizen – the families of dual nationals are subject to UK law.

EEA law doesn’t treat you less favourably if you are in a same sex relationship, but it does make a difference between couples who are married or in a civil partnership, and couples who are merely living together.  You have far more rights if you are married or in a civil partnership – if you are living together then you will first of all need to satisfy the Home Office that you are in a ‘durable relationship’.  There is no definition of what a durable relationship is, but generally the Home Office will expect you to have lived together for at least two years.

Under EEA law the status of the EEA citizen is of primary importance, and your EEA partner will generally need to be working, self-employed or studying in the UK.  If your partner is not working you will almost certainly not be able to make an application, unless he or she has become ‘settled’ in the UK because of previous work or study.

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