Unfortunately, the sad reality is that many marriages and relationships break down. In cases where the UK visa of one of the parties to the marriage is based on the relationship or marriage, the immigration status of that partner is unfortunately often compromised.
Fortunately, there are ways in which non-EEA nationals who are married to EEA nationals can retain their rights of residence if the marriage breaks down. The following criteria must, among other things, be met;
The couple need to have been married for at least three years from the date of marriage to the date of divorce;
The EEA national need to have been in the UK and exercising his/her EEA rights of residence in the UK on the date of the divorce (the date of the decree absolute in actual fact);
The non-EEA national needs to be employed or self-employed on the date of the divorce;
The couple also need to have been living together for at least a year during the period when they were married.
If inter alia the above criteria are met, the non-EEA national will be able to retain a right of residence, and continue to live and work in the UK, despite the breakdown of the relationship or marriage.
For more information or advice in your unique circumstances, please contact BIC.