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Category: UK Immigration Law
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i am an american citizen married to a dutch citizen living

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i am an american citizen married to a dutch citizen living in the u.k. we have a daughter 9 months. during the pregnancy we separated and live about 20 minutes apart. i am the custodial parent and took a small cottage in which to raise my daughter. my husband visits her every weekend. because my funds were limited (though i had been receiving maternity pay from my employer up until recently) i applied for an received housing benefit, working tax credits and child tax credits starting from last january (01/2010). when my maternity pay ended so did my working tax credits and i was advised to apply for income support, which i did. i received a letter today saying that my housing benefit has now been suspended because the DWP has informed the housing people that i have no "leave to remain" in the UK under the terms of my visa. the letter goes on to say that in order to consider my ongoing claim they need to see details of my visa to clarify whether i am subject to immigration control, whether i have a right to continued residency in the UK and, if so, whether i have the right to access public funds. i hold a residence permit as the spouse of an EEA national. needless to say this is very anxiety producing both from an emotional and from a financial point of view. my question is whether i am allowed to be here if separated from my husband and how that affects my benefits. i also wonder whether the DWP is likely to report me to the home office for a breach of law, though i must admit i had no idea that i was doing anything wrong. in the worst case i could return to my job but this would result in a high cost of childcare and i now feel insecure as to whether i would qualify for childcare benefit on the basis of being a lone parent. would very much appreciate any feedback you could give because i am very upset about the situation. thank you.


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What is your immigration status ? how long does your residence permit have to run? What is your husbands status. How long have you been here?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
hi. i hold a residence document issued november 2009 and valid until nov 2014. my husband is a dutch national exercising treaty rights (working) in england. i have actually been here working since 2000 but didn't marry until feb. 2008 at which point my status became more legal. thanks,

The position is quite complicated but basically you are not dealt with under the immigration rules but under the EEA rules. You do not lose the right of residence automatically unless the marriage is terminated and even if it is you can still remain if either you have been married for 3 years or you have "custody " of your child who is an EU citizen.

Your difficulties might arise if you leave because when you return you will not be coming to join an UE national . However Border Agency instructions are not to refuse entry to EU family members until all right of appeal have been exhausted and you have an "in country right of Appeal"

If you have been in the country for 10 years lawfully you can apply for settlement anyway.

You are not technically subject to immigration rules at the moment so i do not think you have any issues showing your residence permit to the benefit agency . Ia am not an expert on benefits but my understanding is that EU citizens and family members are eligible for benefits here. However your husband should be paying support.
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Customer: replied 5 years ago.

would just like to ask one question for clarification: am i subject to immigration control? some of the info on the net would indicate that i am and some would not. i still have to wait in the line with non=eea citizens when i arrive at the border so what does that indicate? at the moment our daughter is only an american citizen and she will need to obtain a residence document like me. i hope and believe my husband will procure her dutch citizenship in the future.


You are subject to immigration control - everyone one who does not have permanent residence is but not the immigration rules . the fact that your daughter is not an EU/EEA citizen is not really helpful because unless the marriage lasts 3 years b=you may not be entitled to retain residence but provided your marriage does last until then you should have no problem

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