If you are the unmarried long-term partner of an EU citizen, then you have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. The rules governing European Union citizens living and working in Britain are not regulated directly by the Home Office. They are instead governed by EU law. Even if you are a non-EU or EEA citizen, you fall under this umbrella of rights and protections.
Technically, the partner of an EU citizen does not have to apply for any documentation showing their status. However, forgoing this endorsement to your passport can make it hard for you to prove your status. If, for example, you wish to leave the United Kingdom for a holiday or a business trip you will find it hard if not impossible to prove to Border Agency personnel that you are lawfully resident in the U.K.
The best way of avoiding such difficulties is to obtain a Residency Card. Having a Residency Card will give you the freedom you need to work and travel freely. It will also give you access to Britain’s benefits and health care system.
If you and your EU partner are still together after 5 years—that is, if she is still living and working in the U.K.—then you can apply for Permanent Residence. Indeed, obtaining PR is a necessary step to getting British citizenship, if that is your ultimate goal. The documents required to get Permanent Residence are essentially the same as those required to get a Residency. The 85-page application that contains the various kinds of PR can be downloaded from the Home Office website.
As the unmarried partner of an EU citizen, you will need to submit both your partner’s passport and your passport with the application. If you have obtained a new passport since obtaining the Residency Card, then you should also send the one that contains the RC endorsement. You will also have to send proof that your partner works in the U.K. And evidence of a durable relationship, which can include statements from a joint bank account, utility bills, etc. No statements about your employment are required; nor is there any minimum salary requirement. Under EU law, you cannot be denied PR because of finances. You will, however, be questioned as to whether you’ve committed any illegal activities since you’ve been in Britain.
It is important to remember that getting the Residency Card was, in effect, you partner exercising his or her treaty rights. Once you receive the PR or ILR Visa, you will be able to remain in Britain regardless of whether or not the two of you continue to live together as a couple. It recognizes the fact that you have established a settled life in the United Kingdom.
If you are ready to secure your future in the U.K., then you should apply for Permanent Residence today. Although most people, including the bookmakers, expect the vote in June to be for remaining in the U.K., you should get your application in today. It is best to get things going before the results of the referendum are in.
Are you the unmarried partner of an EU citizen who lives and works in the U.K. Then it is time to get your status settled with an EU ILR Visa