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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello. Two years ago I obtained a UK residence card after marrying my wife (I'm a US citizen, but my wife is Polish and we were both living in the UK -- I was on a Post-Study Work Visa at the time, then after we married I transitioned to the non-EEA family member of an EEA citizen residence card). Recently we decided to move to Poland. My UK company agreed that I could continue working for them, although from home (ie, from Poland). The HR department offered no objection to this arrangement (although they didn't offer any UKBA advice either...).

So I'm now in Poland and I've continued working for my UK company, on the same salary as before. My company didn't really want to pay me directly into a foreign account, so I am paid into my old UK bank account and then transfer the money to my Polish account regularly. (I continue to pay UK taxes, which is another story, but not part of my question.)

I am under the impression that this arrangement is perfectly kosher as far as the UK is concerned; plenty of UK companies employ salaried members of staff from outside the UK, and outside the EU. And the HR department offered no objection, so everything seems to be working smoothly.

My questions are these:
- Once I left the UK to live in Poland, were my residence card and the rights granted by the card made null and void? I'm not clear on this. The card (actually, it's an endorsement in my US passport) is valid until 2017. But I cannot find online any guidance about what happens to the card once I am no longer physically resident in the UK. The UKBA site has a section where you can update your contact address....but it does not give an option of an address outside the UK. So I'm stumped.

- That leads to my second question: when I enter the UK from Poland, as my company wants me to visit every few months, am I unable to use my residence card to enter? If my move from the UK voided it, then obviously I can't use it to enter. But then that makes me nervous about what I am to say to the border official if I attempt to enter as a simple US visitor to the UK. I'm technically entering to visit the company that pays my salary....but are such visits possible if I just use my 'tourism' privileges to enter the UK? Or could I say "I'm here on business for a week"? Could they deny me entry on that basis?

- Let's say that my current residence in Poland is temporary (which is true), and that in a year's time I want to move back to the UK with my wife. Will I need to re-apply for the UK residence documentation, or would I simply be able to enter under my unexpired residence card? (This question relies on the answers to the previous two questions....but is still nagging me.)

Thanks for considering my questions. (I wanted to say that this forum was a HUGE help when I originally applied by the residence card 2 years ago, so hopefully someone has some thoughts that could help me now.)

Thanks,
Stumped
 

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Residence card expires after being away from UK for one year. So for the first year, you should have no trouble re-entering UK on your residence card, but it may be more difficult after that, with a chance of being denied entry. They won't automatically know you have moved from UK, but they can ask questions and have the knack of getting the truth out of you.
If you want to return to UK after a year, you will have to get a new EEA family permit followed by application for residence card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Residence card expires after being away from UK for one year. So for the first year, you should have no trouble re-entering UK on your residence card, but it may be more difficult after that, with a chance of being denied entry. They won't automatically know you have moved from UK, but they can ask questions and have the knack of getting the truth out of you.
If you want to return to UK after a year, you will have to get a new EEA family permit followed by application for residence card.
Thanks, Joppa -- that's helpful.

I guess I should give full disclosure: after being away 3 months, I re-entered the UK on my regular passport (I was in the UK to work and to see friends). At the border, the official asked the purpose of my visit. Not being entirely sure of the status of my residence card, I said I was visiting friends (which was true). He also asked whether I reside in the UK or Poland. I said "Poland", although I didn't qualify my statement to say that it was likely to be a temporary stay in Poland.

So now I'm unsure what to do....they have me down in the system saying I reside in Poland. Although from what you say, I'm still eligible to enter on the residence card until I've been away from the UK for a year. So next time I enter the UK (assuming it's within a year of having left), do you think I can give them the residence card and have no problem?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you want to return to UK after a year, you will have to get a new EEA family permit followed by application for residence card.
Two questions on your helpful response, Joppa:

1. As I am continuing work for my UK-based company from abroad and occasionally visit the UK for several days at a time, is it OK if I declare (when I enter at the border) that the purpose of my visit is work? And can I do so by presenting just my regular passport, or should I present my residence card? (The res. card is in my old, expired passport...I normally carry both passports with me, though.) I'm just wary of declaring the purpose of my visit as 'business' and then being told that it's not allowed....

2. Your guidance about the residence card expiring after being away 1 year is helpful, although for my ease of mind it'd be nice to read about it on the UKBA site. I can't find any notes regarding it, though. Is it written somewhere on the site, or is it just an internal regulation?

Thanks! It's a godsend that you know the ins and outs and are willing to share with everyone in plain English. The UKBA site seems to have all the info, but it's not very helpful if you have a convoluted case like I do...
 

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1. Show both your current passport and residence card in your old passport. Just state you are exercising right of residence accorded under the EEA regulations.
2. Your residence card remains valid as long as you have the right of residence in UK under EEA rules, which depends on your EEA partner exercising treaty rights in UK. An absence of a year or more by your EEA partner without valid reasons, such as illness, pregnancy, posted overseas assignment or compassionate grounds (e.g. caring for a sick relative) makes them no longer exercising treaty rights, so your residence card ceases to have value. So your residence card can be revoked arriving at UK border, or when you make any application to extend it or for permanent residence.
Read Part 2,3 and 4 of http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/ecis/annexa.pdf?view=Binary
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
2. Your residence card remains valid as long as you have the right of residence in UK under EEA rules, which depends on your EEA partner exercising treaty rights in UK. An absence of a year or more by your EEA partner without valid reasons, such as illness, pregnancy, posted overseas assignment or compassionate grounds (e.g. caring for a sick relative) makes them no longer exercising treaty rights, so your residence card ceases to have value. So your residence card can be revoked arriving at UK border, or when you make any application to extend it or for permanent residence.
Read Part 2,3 and 4 of http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/documents/policyandlaw/ecis/annexa.pdf?view=Binary
Hi Joppa,

I think the URL you gave is no longer active -- I think I found it at a new location though:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/264938/annexa.pdf

Looking for the info you mentioned concerning my EEA partner (i.e., my wife) exercising her treaty rights, I'm not sure I can find the language stating what constitutes an absence that would render my residence card invalid. In Part 1, section 3.1, it discusses calculating periods of continuous residence. Is this what you were referring to?

Continuity of residence is not affected by:
(a) periods of absence from the UK that do not exceed 6 months in total in any year;
(b) periods of absence from the UK for military service;
(c) any one absence from the UK not exceeding 12 months for an important reason such as pregnancy and childbirth, serious illness, study or vocational training or an overseas posting.​

To recap, my situation is the following: I was granted a residence card a few years ago, as my EEA wife was living and working in the UK. In August of last year we moved to Poland, where I have been working. We have returned to the UK multiple times for visits since then.

Our plan is to return to the UK permanently in July of this year. (We're looking for apartments, and my job is already based in the UK.) So our total absence of residence from the UK will not have exceeded 12 months. However, counting the days, our total absence from the UK will have been more than 6 months. So I'm confused -- statement (a) above seems at odds with your previous advice. My wife and I have already been living in Poland for more than 6 months...is my residence card no longer valid? Or is it an absence of 12 months that would render it invalid, as you mentioned before?

I could be misreading the regulations, which wouldn't be a surprise!

Thanks for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You should be ok as you have stayed within EEA.
Thanks Joppa.

So, as long as we have resided in within the EEA and return to the UK within a year of having moved away initially, my residence card will continue to have value, correct? Is there language to this affect at the link above?

By the way, during our absence from the UK we have made one trip to the USA from Poland -- does this affect our status at all?

Thanks a million.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hmm, the more I look at the regulations, the more I think that because my wife and I have been out of the UK (in Poland) since August of 2014, the more I wonder if I have broken the continuity of residence stipulation. I've been back to the UK for several trips since August, but all in all I've been out of the UK for more than 6 months. Joppa mentioned a year being the limit.....but looking at the continuity of residence definition, 12 months seems to be the limit only in cases where there is an 'important reason'.

So our plan to move back to the UK in July 2014 makes me nervous. The border officials sometimes don't even scan my passport when I travel to the UK and present the residence card, but sometimes they do. So I guess it depends on the scrutiny at the border -- if they can the passport and see my past entries, they might start asking my wife and me questions. They could discover that we left the UK in August last year, returning in July this year (with several trips to the UK in-between). While overall that's less than 12 months, it would be more than 6 months.

The nightmare scenario is that we close our apartment in Poland, send our belongings back to the UK, fly to the UK, and then my residence card is revoked at the border. It seems an unlikely scenario, but I suppose anything is plausible (especially since the rules are a bit vague). I think I'm understandably nervous.

If they revoke my residence card at the border, I suppose I could enter the UK under my regular passport as a tourist and remain for 3 months....but this is also tricky, as my full-time job is based in the UK (I've been working remotely from Poland since we moved from the UK). I wouldn't really be able to work on a tourist visa visit, right?

Ugh, what a tricky situation. Any help/advice to calm my worried mind would be a godsend....

Thanks.
 

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Safest thing to do is to apply for EEA family permit. You have nothing to lose, it costs nothing and you can then apply for residence card after arrival.
Or if they refuse to let you enter on residence card, you can ask for Code 1A stamp and then apply for residence card as above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Safest thing to do is to apply for EEA family permit. You have nothing to lose, it costs nothing and you can then apply for residence card after arrival.
Or if they refuse to let you enter on residence card, you can ask for Code 1A stamp and then apply for residence card as above.
Thanks Joppa. I think we'd be 99% safe if I entered under my current residence card. But to be 100% safe I suppose I'd apply for the family permit. A few quick follow-ups:

1. Can I continue to work for my UK company while on a family permit?
2. When during the course of the 6-month family permit can I apply for the residence card? Can I apply right away?
3. Finally, my wife will need to be working so I can qualify for the residence card. How long will she need to have been in employment (I can't recall if there was a minimum time)? If we enter and I'm on a 6-month family permit, that gives her 6-months to find employment -- but if the residence card app requires her to be employed for a longer period, then I don't know what we'll do.

Many thanks.
 

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Hi,
Thanks Joppa. I think we'd be 99% safe if I entered under my current residence card. But to be 100% safe I suppose I'd apply for the family permit. A few quick follow-ups:

1. Can I continue to work for my UK company while on a family permit?
2. When during the course of the 6-month family permit can I apply for the residence card? Can I apply right away?
3. Finally, my wife will need to be working so I can qualify for the residence card. How long will she need to have been in employment (I can't recall if there was a minimum time)? If we enter and I'm on a 6-month family permit, that gives her 6-months to find employment -- but if the residence card app requires her to be employed for a longer period, then I don't know what we'll do.

Many thanks.
I've read your interaction here and I'm afraid you are missing this:

* As per your schedule of visits and lenght of time being away from UK, your RC remains valid.
* Unless you have become a recent safety concern, criminal or have legally separated from your EU sponsor, your UK issued RC CAN'T be revoked.

Now to answer your subsequent queries:

1. Yes.
2. Yes, assuming you would like to use the self-sufficient route.
3. There's no lenght of time your EU sponsor needs to be active in the labour market, but needs to at least work 15 hours weekly in order to successfully sponsor your application.

Animo
(Cheers)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi,

I've read your interaction here and I'm afraid you are missing this:

* As per your schedule of visits and lenght of time being away from UK, your RC remains valid.
* Unless you have become a recent safety concern, criminal or have legally separated from your EU sponsor, your UK issued RC CAN'T be revoked.
Thanks for your reply.

I know the RC is valid for 5 years (so, ostensibly, mine should have been valid from 2012-2017). My wife and I have been away from the UK, in Poland, from July 2013 until now. I've visited the UK 3 times since the end of July 2013 for a week at a time (my most recent visit, with my wife, was in January). So you're saying that the RC still remains valid? In my reading of the 'continuity of residence' definition (which I don't even know is in reference to the RC...), we would have had to reside away from the UK for 6 months within a year under normal circumstances, or 12 months for an 'important' reason, for the RC to become invalid. It seems to me that we have already been away for more than 6 months. Although maybe that doesn't matter?
 

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Good Day,

I am South African married to a Bulgarian. I hold a 5 year UK Residence permit. We live in UK and are thinking of going to live in Bulgaria. I hold a 1 year Bulgarian Residence card but it has expired and have not renewed it due to not living there. Can anyone advise, what I will have to do to relocate to Bulgaria with my husband, with regards with the residence permits; can I use my UK resident card to live in Bulgaria? If not, what will be the steps I will have to take?
 
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