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UK_Lawyer
UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 2248
Experience:  I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
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I have both Croatian and Serbian nationality and am married

Resolved Question:

I have both Croatian and Serbian nationality and am married to a British citizen, who will be living in the UK and employed from next week. Since I want to join her in the Uk, I wanted to find out if we should apply for a spousal (now called a settlement) visa or since, Croatia will become a member of the EU on the 1st of July, whether we should just wait until then? There are going to be work restrictions for croatian citizens but all of the statements of intent from the UKBA (announced in October of last year) state that exemptions to those restrictions would include Croatian citizens married to British/EEA citizens and therefore it seems to be that if we just wait until July, I am able to enter the country, with no work restrictions.

Is that correct? Also, visa processing times for spousal visas are around 12 weeks, which, if we should go ahead with our application, take us to the end of July - again, this process would be longer than if I can just enter and be without restrictions from July 1st.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
Hi thank you for your question. Please remember to RATE my answer OK SERVICE, GOOD SERVICE OR EXCELLENT SERVICE so I can get credited for my time.

I agree with what you have stated in your question. Yes it would be much easier for you to enter the uk once Croatia becomes part of the eea. The fact is eea regulations are much more lenient that immigration rules and it will take you the exact amount of time to obtain indefinite leave to remain /permanent residency 5 years.

In addition the visa requirements under a spouse visa is that the uk based sponsor must earn at least 18600 pounds gross per year and this financial requirements will need to be consistent throughout your stay in the uk, whereas with the eea regulations there will not be any such requirements.

What you must bare in mind is that you are exercising treaty rights in the uk for 5 consecutive years before you apply for permanent residency ie you must be working or studying or self sufficient.

You will also not need to obtain permission to work as a self employed worker, but would need to be sponsored by a company if you wish to apply for work with a particular company. Once they are happy to sponsor you, you will be able to work for them. You would also be exempt from obtaining a worker accession card, but may apply for a card confirming such an exemption.

Overall I believe that the better option would be to wait for Croatia to become part of the eea.

I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively. If however, you feel that the answer does not cover all the points raised in your question, please DO NOT rate my answer negatively, I will be happy to answer further question until you are satisfied with my answer.

Kind regards
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Relist: Answer quality.
I don't feel that the question was answered correctly with enough information.

The answer states that I would have to obtain authorisation to work, while the lastest statement of intent from the UKBA (which the answer doesn't even mention or refer to, while I did in my question) clearly states that spouses do not need to apply for authorisation to work.

Instead it just states that, yes it would be easier to move to the Uk when Croatia is an EU member - which I think is quite obvious.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

The answer states that I would have to obtain authorisation to work, while the latest statement of intent from the UKBA (which the answer doesn't even mention or refer to, while I did in my question) clearly states that spouses do not need to apply for authorisation to work.

Instead it just states that, yes it would be easier to move to the Uk when Croatia is an EU member - which I think is quite obvious. What we really need to know is once Croatia becomes an EU member would I have to apply for any authorisation to work since I am married to a British Citizen?


 


There are restrictions, it seems on how long I could stay there, without a job offer if I do need to in fact be authorised to work and that is what we would like clarity on.


 


We have all of the necessary paperwork and meet all requirements for a spousal visa but it costs 1000 euros and would not be processed until the end of July and my wife is moving back to the UK in a week, so we would like to cut down the time we have to be apart.

Expert:  UK_Lawyer replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply.

1. What the home office states that the requirements will be the same as for Romanian and bulgaria nationals.

You will be exempt from the requirement to obtain authorisation to work in the UK if:

you have leave to enter under the Immigration Act 1971 and that leave does not place any restrictions on taking employment in the UK (for example, if you have been given leave to remain as the spouse of a British citizen or as the dependant of a work permit holder); or

you have been working with permission, and without interruption, in the UK for a period of 12 months ending on or after 31 December 2006. For example, you are already present in the UK as a work permit holder or in some other category that confers permission to take employment (for example as a student and you have been in part-time employment continuously for 12 months); or

you are providing services in the UK on behalf of an employer established elsewhere in the EEA; or

you are also a citizen of the UK or another EEA state (other than Bulgaria or Romania) or Switzerland; or

you are the family member of an EEA national who is exercising a Treaty right in the UK (except if you are the family member of a Bulgarian or Romanian national who is subject to work authorisation requirements, or who is exempt from those requirements but only by virtue of being self-employed, self-sufficient or a student) or

you are the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen or person settled in the UK; or

you are the family member of a Bulgarian or Romanian national who is self-employed, self-sufficient or a student. You will remain exempt provided that your sponsor remains a student, self-sufficient person or self-employed; or

you are the spouse, civil partner, descendant under the age of 21 or the dependant of a Bulgarian or Romanian national who is subject to work authorisation and holds an Accession worker card; or

you are a member of a diplomatic mission, the family member of a diplomat or the family member of anyone who is entitled

Please see following link :

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/liveworkuk/

2. You can remain in the uk only 3 months without exercising treaty rights, but one of the treaty rights can be exercised is if you are self sufficient, ie your spouse is providing funds to maintain you. You would need to have sickness insurance if you wish to be self sufficient during your stay in the uk.

3. On your last point if you arrive to the uk and obtains comprehensive sickness insurance and your spouse transfers funds to your account every month etc then you will be able to remain in the uk for longer than the required 3 months. As being self sufficient is regarding as exercising treaty rights you will be able to remain in the uk on this basis.

Please read the final line in paragraph 4 I stated that you will NOT need to apply for accession worker card but may want to to obtain a card from the home office confirming the same.

I hope this answers your question, if so kindly rate my answer positively. If however, you feel that the answer does not cover all the points raised in your question, please DO NOT rate my answer negatively, I will be happy to answer further question until you are satisfied with my answer.

Kind regards
UK_Lawyer, Solicitor
Satisfied Customers: 2248
Experience: I am a qualified solicitor and an expert in UK law.
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