The Home Office changes the EEA (PR) Guidance Notes
After media published that the Home Office tries to stop the applications to Permanent Residence Card from EEA citizens suggesting to these citizens to subscribe to an email alert instead of applying to a PR due to the huge increase of applications since the Brexit date. With the current Free Movement Directive from 2006 which is now enforced and before UK leaves the EU, PR is the only way to assure these EU citizens their residency in UK in the future; therefore once again; The Home office have surprisingly modified this EEA (PR) Guidance Notes last April 2017 in order to clarify some of the requirements needed, furthermore the H.O. has introduced some examples of documentation that your application must accompany plus Annex Scenarios which increase the guidance notes from 18 to 40 pages. We believe these scenarios are more practical and useful in order to see if you meet the requirements or not, moreover checking the relevance of the documents supporting your application may help to guide this search by the applicants.
SECTION 5. 1.-Evidence of residence in UK for the relevant continuous period of 5 years: From Category A (High Value) to Category D (No Value) – Do not send these. The H.O. considers as a high value all utility bills (gas, electricity, water); bank statement, credit card statement, school – college – university letters; evidence of continuous employment such as HMRC employment history. You must provide at least one per year of residency.
Regarding the absences from UK; you are no longer to disclose the information of absence if these are no more than 6 months within a 12 month period.
Scenario 1.- So for a standard application; a worker who exercises its treaty rights and who has been living in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, a possible scenario is to provide 5 consecutive p60 and no additional evidence of residence is required.
Scenario 2.- Nothing much have changed for students and self-sufficient persons who wish obtain the PR; because CSI Comprehensive Sickness Insurance is the main field battle which many of these students were not aware of this requirement as they are able to free use NHS, however this is not enough and they need to provide CSI for their years of studies if they wish to apply for PR. Please see Ahmad v Secretary of State for the Home Department.
Scenario 3. Self employed. H.O suggests to provide evidence with HRMC or business accounts or P60 including tax or national insurance contributions for relevant period and showing a UK address. Furthermore, the main change introduced here is that you are no longer required to provide two pieces of evidence as it was stated in the version 2.0. You just need to provide one piece of evidence for every qualifying 12 months period (e.g – Annex G evidence of Self-Employment).
Another clarification is whether or not you have to wait one year after obtaining the PR for the British Citizenship. The Home Office says you can apply immediately after obtaining your PR if you provide evidence covering a continuous period of residence of at least 6 years. (e.g. Annex A – Applicants who wish to apply for British Citizenship).
From Del Canto Chambers we applause the Home Office idea of these scenarios but we demand to the Home Office to give further steps in order to simplify the Application Form of 85 pages and to include self-sufficient, students and jobseekers under the coverage of the online application furthermore another issue should be clarified by the Home Office as it is to give a better explanation on Comprehensive Sickness Insurance plus erase this requirements in some cases; e.g. housewives that married to UK nationals and that raised their children in UK as they do not meet the requirements of a Qualified Person in order to apply for a PR because they do not have this SCI.
Del Canto Chambers may arrange your application for Permanent Residence Card, fill up our questionnaire to check if you are eligible to it in our website and contact us should you have any question about it at email@example.com.
Julio Prieto (@jpr4)
Lawyer at Del Canto Chambers