Permanent residence is acquired after five continuous years of possession of the right of residence. The right of residence is possessed by a person who is exercising Treaty rights, which means moving to another Member State within the EEA other than your own and then engaging in one or more of:
* self employment
* self sufficiency and
The family members of an EEA citizen who engages in one of these activities will also qualify for permanent residence after five years.
Absences from the UK of up to six months do not disqualify or prevent a person from acquiring permanent residence. Gaps in employment are also permitted in some circumstances. As a rule of thumb, anything up to six months should be fine and longer can be OK in some circumstances. Maternity leave of up to 12 months should be fine.
There are certain circumstances in which a citizen may exercise free movement rights in his or her own Member State relying on either what are known to lawyers as Carpenter or Surinder Singh rights.
What counts as work, self employment, self sufficiency and study and who counts as a family member are set out in the legislation
A person who is unemployed may still retain their worker status in EU law for a certain period of time, for example, and the source of self sufficiency can be in part from a family member from outside the EEA.
You can also read the two key legal documents on free movement rights for yourself. The first is Directive 2004/38/EC, commonly referred to as the Citizens’ Directive. The second is the UK’s implementation of the Directive, the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 (link to unofficial but up to date version). Where the UK regulations do not accurately reflect or transpose the Directive, the Directive takes legal precedence in the courts.
DNDLAW Solicitors / Donnelly Neary & Donnelly offer a full range of legal services including Conveyancing Tax Commercial Criminal Family Law Divorce Wills Probate Immigration Notary Public from offices in Newry Castlewellan Dublin Portadown serving all of County Down Armagh and Belfast
For more information visit our offices or telephone 028 30264611
Our website is www.dndlaw.com & www.notaryni.co.uk
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