The concept of a retained right of residence typically pertains to immigration and residency laws, and it often refers to the ability of an individual to maintain certain rights even after a change in their circumstances. This right is generally associated with specific categories of individuals who, despite a change in their immigration status, can retain the privilege of residing in a particular country.

If the person who sponsored the EEA national passes away, departs the country, gets divorced, or ends their marriage to their spouse, then certain family members of the EEA national may continue to remain in the UK under the terms of retained right of residence.

You will be qualified for an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) family visa if you meet the requirements for this immigration route. Family members of citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein are eligible for EUSS family permits. By December 31, 2020, your EEA family member must have been residing in the UK in order for you to apply for retained right of residence.

Conditions to apply for Retained Right for Residence

Suppose any of the following situations apply to you and you are living outside the European Economic Area (EEA, encompassing the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein), you may be eligible for the retained right of residence:

Retained residency rights after the qualifying EEA national passed away

You must provide proof that you were residing in the UK as an authorized EEA national family member’s family member for a minimum of twelve months before their death if you want to apply for a EUSS family visa after they pass away. You may also apply through this method if:

According to the regulations, your family member does not need to have lived in the UK for two years or longer if they passed away as a result of an illness or injury they suffered at work.

Kept the right to live there during a separation or divorce

You might be qualified for an EEA retained right of residence after a divorce or dissolution if you were married to someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, or if you were in a civil relationship with them. In order to satisfy the Home Office, you must demonstrate that you were a resident of the United Kingdom at the time of the divorce or dissolution and that:

In addition, the regulations permit you to apply for EEA retained rights of residence after a divorce on behalf of a family member who was married or in a civil partnership that qualified. In this instance, you have to have been a UK resident at the time of the breakup. In order to apply using this procedure, you must demonstrate that you are their

How to apply for Retained Right for Residence

The process for applying for a retained right of residence can vary depending on the country and its specific immigration laws. Below is a general guide that may help you understand the steps involved.

  1.   Understand Eligibility Criteria: Familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria for retained right of residence in the specific country. This may include requirements related to the nature of the relationship, the change in circumstances, and the duration of previous residence.
  2.   Gather Documentation: Collect all necessary documents to support your application. This may include proof of your initial right of residence, documents demonstrating the change in circumstances (such as divorce or separation papers), proof of continuous residence, and any other documents specified by the immigration authorities.
  3.   Check Application Form: Obtain the relevant application form from the immigration authorities or their official website. Ensure that you have the most recent version of the form.
  4.   Complete Application Form: Fill out the application form accurately and provide all required information. Be sure to follow the instructions provided in the form and provide supporting documents as per the checklist.
  5.   Submit Application: Submit your completed application along with all supporting documents to the designated immigration office. Some countries may allow online submissions, while others may require physical submissions at a specific office.
  6.   Pay Fees: Check if there are any application fees associated with the retained right of residence application. Pay the required fees as per the instructions provided by the immigration authorities.
  7.   Biometrics and Interviews: Some countries may require applicants to undergo biometric data collection or attend an interview as part of the application process. Be prepared for these additional steps, if applicable.
  8.   Receive Decision: Once a decision is made, you will be notified of the outcome. If your application is successful, you will be granted the retained right of residence. If it is not successful, you may receive information about the reasons for the denial and whether you have the right to appeal.
  9.   Comply with Conditions: If your application is approved, make sure to comply with any conditions or requirements specified in the approval notice.

Moreover, with your application, you are obliged to submit the following documents that will prove your residence right.

In case of a death in your family:

If you or a child you are custodial over attends school in the United Kingdom

If an admissible EEA national was the spouse of you or a member of your family (i.e., EEA retained rights of residence following dissolution):


Can I appeal if my application for retained right of residence is denied?

Many countries allow applicants to appeal a decision if their application is denied. Check the specific procedures and timeframes for appeals in the country where you are applying.

Can I work or study with a retained right of residence?

The rights associated with a retained right of residence can vary. In some cases, it may grant the right to work or study, while in others, additional permissions may be required.

What are common changes in circumstances that may lead to a retained right of residence?

Common changes include divorce, separation, or the death of the family member who initially granted the right of residence.

Get Information

Get Information

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

This will close in 20 seconds