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Paul Richmond
Paul Richmond, Barrister
Category: UK Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 138
Experience:  LL.B (Hons) (First Class), LL.M (Distinction), Immigration Barrister (12 years)
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Hi there, I recently received my residence permit card (as

Customer Question

Hi there, I recently received my residence permit card (as I have been married to an EU national for over 5 years), but still every time I come back to the UK, the immigration officers keep asking me if I am travelling with my wife, where is she now? etc.
My wife and I are planning to go separate ways and I don't understand if the fact that I am a permanent resident still means I am depended on her - please help.

Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: UK Immigration Law
Expert:  Paul Richmond replied 7 years ago.

Thank-you for your question. You are being asked these questions by the Immigration Officers because your right to remain in the United Kingdom currently depends on your wife being a 'qualified person' for the purposes of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006. This means that she must be an EU national who is working, job-seeking or studying in the UK.


If you divorce your wife then when you apply to renew your Residence Card or obtain a Permanent Residence Card you will need to argue that you are a family member with what is called a 'retained right of residence' following the divorce. The law on this area is complex and you should seek professional legal advice. However, in essence you will have to show, through evidence, that at the date of divorce your wife was exercising treaty rights in the UK as a worker, job-seeker or student, the marriage had lasted 3 years, you lived together for at least 1 year and your are working, job-seeking or studying. If you have evidence to meet these criteria then you should be able to demonstrate that you are a non-EEA national family member with a retained right of residence in the UK. You will then be allowed to remain in the UK despite your divorce.


I hope this answers your question. Please kindly click ACCEPT so that I may be rewarded for my time. Thank-you.

Paul Richmond and other UK Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Thanks for your reply, which by mistake has been accepted by me.

I did take legal advice before perusing my Permanent Residence Card which has no limitations on it and I have been advised by my lawyer that I am No Longer dependent on my spouse, thus, I don't really understand if by your answer you understand that I have already had to prove that we've been married for at least 3 years etc...

Please refer to this a.s.a.p. as I am going abroad later today.

Best regards
Expert:  Paul Richmond replied 7 years ago.
I understood from your question that you had only a Residence Card at the moment. If you already have a Permanent Residence Card then the advice that you have already received is correct. You can separate from your wife and this will not affect your right to residence.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Paul, thanks for your answer. Yes, I do have a residence card, but I am still being asked questions every time I come back to London (If I'm travelling with my wife, her nationality) and I wanted to know whether these questions are appropriate, and in the case that the next time they ask I wool be separated or divorced - what would be the implications?

Expert:  Paul Richmond replied 7 years ago.

It is normal and appropriate for immigration officers to ask questions. I am a British citizen and I still get asked questions by immigration officers from time to time.


As I said it my last answer, if you have a Permanent Residence Card then there are no implications for being separate or divorced. Your marital status will not affect for residence status.

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