EU Nationals married to Ex Services Personnel living in the UK

#1
First post this, so not sure if I'm in the right category or not. Admin please shift if not correct.

I married a German lass in 1978, the love of my life, been married for 41 years this August. She dutifully followed me all around the world moving house every three years a total of seven times. While I was doing my bit for Queen and Country my wife raised two boys, who now live and work, paying taxes in the UK. She also worked in the British Forces Kindergarten and Primary School system. (BFES)

After I left the Army she worked full time in a British Primary School for 20 years teaching all subjects including the English Language, again paying all her NI contributions and Taxes. According to the Gov.uk website Pensions calculations she will be entitled to a full state pension based on her contributions

She is entitled to vote in Local Parliamentary Elections and European Elections but not General Elections.

She has retained her German Passport, has never applied for change of nationality, or dual nationality, or applied for a residency permit. It was assumed that as she has lived and worked in the UK longer than she lived in her own country, she wouldn't have to. Only recently with BREXIT and the UK leaving the EU, have we found out that she has until December 2020 to apply to live in the UK permanently.

To qualify or be eligible for this she has to do the following:- (all of which have to be paid for)

1. Take and pass a 'Knowledge of Life in the UK test'
2. Take and pass a ' Knowledge of English test'
3. Apply for a Residency Permit
4. Choose to change her nationality or keep her German Passport

In a nutshell if she does all of the above including administration costs, the total cost comes in at around £2,800.00.

Am I being naive in believing that she shouldnt have to do any of this, let alone pay for it? In my opinion she is more entitled to remain here in the UK than most of those who apply for residency who haven't paid any taxes or national insurance.

I am also citing the 'Windrush' families who have now, after the initial horlicks by the government, been given permission to stay in the UK without having to fill any forms in, take any tests, or pay any fees.

If anyone else is in the same situation as described above, or has any views, advice or suggestions, I would appreciate it.

Thanks
 
#2
It shouldn't be an issue for her to claim permanent residency. I suspect that you have landed on "sites" that offer to the paperwork for you.
Issue came up a couple of months ago, for a german friend of mine. Married a squaddie, had kids, came back to UK and settled, and then got divorced. She followed the guidelines and info from the site below and all now sorted.
In your favour, you are still married and also your wife has paid NI etc. Should also be worth writing to HMRC for a copy of her NI contributions.

Apply for a UK residence card

Then if all else fails, write to your MP, but hopefully that won't happen
 

Guns

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#4
MOD Warning. This is about advice and guidance - any re-run of the referendum or BREXIT crap will see bans and points.

Moved to better forum
 
#6
Thanks both. Went on the website. Tried to download the EU Exit ID Document Check App for Android as per instructions. Failed to download to both my phone and Galaxy Tablet

So tried using the alternative 'apply online and via post' choice. No email verification sent after over an hour. Should have known it couldn't be that simple
 
#8
Does she have indefinite leave to remain? If so, then she won't have to apply.
Plus the government brought in a thing about "settled status".
This site shows you who and how to apply. It says you can apply until the end of June 2021 or the end of June 2020 if UK leaves without a deal.

Settled Status

It also says it's free.
 
#9
To qualify or be eligible for this she has to do the following:- (all of which have to be paid for)

1. Take and pass a 'Knowledge of Life in the UK test'
2. Take and pass a ' Knowledge of English test'
3. Apply for a Residency Permit
4. Choose to change her nationality or keep her German Passport

In a nutshell if she does all of the above including administration costs, the total cost comes in at around £2,800.00.

Am I being naive in believing that she shouldnt have to do any of this, let alone pay for it? In my opinion she is more entitled to remain here in the UK than most of those who apply for residency who haven't paid any taxes or national insurance.

I am also citing the 'Windrush' families who have now, after the initial horlicks by the government, been given permission to stay in the UK without having to fill any forms in, take any tests, or pay any fees.

If anyone else is in the same situation as described above, or has any views, advice or suggestions, I would appreciate it.

Thanks


Actually, thanks to your wife's EU citizenship, you've got quite a decent, cheap & fast-track naturalisation process there.

I can assure you that it can be a much longer, rockier and more expensive road to naturalise a non-EU wife (my wife is Russian, now British). Our case took about two years and about £3.5k, and that was with an impeccable case (wifey fluent in English, highly qualified, higher rate tax payer from day 1, long proof of residence, correct sequence of visas from visitor to settlement, both of us previously known to the Embassy overseas, my service record, etc).

You mentioned Windrush et al. Yes - at risk of blurting out extremely inflammatory statements, i think you might find that the UK immigration system is very politically slanted, in that it seems to fast-track the huddled masses of the third world into UK, but at the same time throw obstacles and costs at its own citizens bringing in a wife or two. You really wouldn't believe the things we witnessed on our naturalisation journey...

Advice:

1. Don't hesitate - the immigration goal posts keep moving;

2. Take the dual nationality, even if the home country does not officially know about the new UK citizenship (many countries don't allow dual citizenship, but turn a blind eye);

3. If your wife doesn't already have this, make sure she has long-running proof of UK residence (bank account, bills, etc, in her name at a UK address);

4. Make a file of every single document you can find that shows you together, or her in UK - including photos when you were dating , etc. Probably won't affect you, but the "proof of residence" can be very hostile to couples.
 
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#10
Actually, thanks to your wife's EU citizenship, you've got quite a decent, cheap & fast-track naturalisation process there.

I can assure you that it can be a much longer, rockier and more expensive road to naturalise a non-EU wife (my wife is Russian, now British). Our case took about two years and about £3.5k, and that was with an impeccable case (wifey fluent in English, highly qualified, higher rate tax payer from day 1, long proof of residence, correct sequence of visas from visitor to settlement, both of us previously known to the Embassy overseas, my service record, etc).

You mentioned Windrush et al. Yes - at risk of blurting out extremely inflammatory statements, i think you might find that the UK immigration system is very politically slanted, in that it seems to fast-track the huddled masses of the third world into UK, but at the same time throw obstacles and costs at its own citizens bringing in a wife or two. You really wouldn't believe the things we witnessed on our naturalisation journey...

Advice:

1. Don't hesitate - the immigration goal posts keep moving;

2. Take the dual nationality, even if the home country does not officially know about the new UK citizenship (many countries don't allow dual citizenship, but turn a blind eye);

3. If your wife doesn't already have this, make sure she has long-running proof of UK residence (bank account, bills, etc, in her name at a UK address);

4. Make a file of every single document you can find that shows you together, or her in UK - including photos when you were dating , etc. Probably won't affect you, but the "proof of residence" can be very hostile to couples.
Thanks for the detailed report based on your experience. If she has got a National Insurance number, plus copies of her P60, pay statements etc surely that should be enough.
 
#11
I believe she only needs the language test and knowledge test if she is applying for citizenship. Otherwise she needs to apply for settled status, which is free.
 
#12
This has raised a question in my head.

Will my 65 year old mother need to do anything?

She's a German citizen, but has lived and worked here for 40 years. Owns her own place outright.

She's unlikely to be proactive about this, so I aught to warn her off.
 
#13
Thanks for the detailed report based on your experience. If she has got a National Insurance number, plus copies of her P60, pay statements etc surely that should be enough.

I'm not familiar with the conditions for existing EU citizens, but for other foreigners it is/was the time factor that was critical - IIRC we had to demonstrate that we had been a couple for x years ( a marriage certificate not considered proof...) and that she - on her settlement visa - had been continually resident in UK for over one calendar year preceding the naturalisation application.

In our case, NI and HMRC records counted for nothing, because they had a couple of gaps in dates. Like many British husbands bringing in a foreign wife, we nearly got caught out because all of our banking details and home utilities were in my name - 'cos I'd of course had the house and life here before I met her. Luckily, wifey had joined one of my shooting clubs under her own name - and this club record proved vital in linking her to a UK address!

Incidentally, our first application for naturalisation was rejected because on the application date one calendar year before she had been out of the country, and not in UK. We'd been in Moscow for just a couple of days, and in fact she'd been resident in UK on and off for about five years by then. When we re-submitted our application a week or so later, the fee had gone up by £800!




(Given the stringency applied to our application - and those of our particular Brit bloke/Russian chick diaspora (and I probably know about 30+ couples) - its frankly impossible to believe that the same criteria are being applied to the thousands who are naturalised with no pre-existing UK family base.)
 
#14
(Given the stringency applied to our application - and those of our particular Brit bloke/Russian chick diaspora (and I probably know about 30+ couples) - its frankly impossible to believe that the same criteria are being applied to the thousands who are naturalised with no pre-existing UK family base.)
The conditions you have posted are exactly the same as those applied to Thai folks who have applied for leave to remain/eventual citizenship that I know personally. There's one set of rules which are applied harshly to all although they have changed over the years.

30 years ago all you needed to do was work here with a legal work permit for 3 years, not make use of the benefit system other than the NHS and schooling and not get into trouble. You didn't need to take any tests at all.
 
#15
This has raised a question in my head.

Will my 65 year old mother need to do anything?

She's a German citizen, but has lived and worked here for 40 years. Owns her own place outright.

She's unlikely to be proactive about this, so I aught to warn her off.

I'm absolutely sure that EU residents will have no issue remaining in UK after Brexit (if it happens), as its inconceivable that millions of people would be at risk of being uprooted. The government blatantly cannot even reliably remove relatively small numbers of illegal migrants who have committed serious crimes since arriving.

What remains to be seen is what constitutional status will be given to millions of EU citizens living in a future non-EU UK - voting rights, access to public funds, etc. It'll have to be addressed, if only because of the colossal implications for welfare funding. Perhaps permanent resident EU citizens will be asked to decide between free UK citizenship and retaining their original nationality with reduced visitor status?
 
#16
My wife is French and we applied for settled status when it first came out and required a fee to be paid. I told her to wait until the end of the month and it would be free but she would'nt have (my sister and all my friends have got it, blah, blah, blah). So we filled in the forms online, I coughed up the fee and we got settled status in a couple of days. Even got the money back, which very much surprised me.
 
#17
In a nutshell if she does all of the above including administration costs, the total cost comes in at around £2,800.00.
Im paying a legal firm (OTS Solicitors) at the moment to get ILR, (my wife is Canadian), we will pay for fast track which is 800 quid extra but total is closer to 5k due to the fees.
You can do it all yourself but A, I'm a lazy ******, and B, They are the experts who know exactly what is needed.
 
#18
Thanks for all your replies and offers of advice guys, much appreciated. Looks like a potential shit storm is heading our way.

Watch and shoot...watch and shoot
 
#19
Im paying a legal firm (OTS Solicitors) at the moment to get ILR, (my wife is Canadian), we will pay for fast track which is 800 quid extra but total is closer to 5k due to the fees.
You can do it all yourself but A, I'm a lazy ******, and B, They are the experts who know exactly what is needed.
5K FFS how come you're having to pay that much, its bloody scandalous...
 
#20

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