EEA Family Permit Marriage of Convenience, Fiancé(e)
Civil Partnership, Suspecting a Marriage, Unmarried, Proposed Civil Partners
Guidance on EEA Family Permit: EUN02 | Published on 13 November 2013 by Home Office UK Government | Details of Sections 10-12, EUN2.10-2.12 (of 24 Sections EUN2.1-2.24)
10. EUN2.10 What if I suspect a marriage / civil partnership of convenience?
The definition of ‘spouse’ and ‘civil partner’ in the EEA Regulations does not include someone who has entered into a marriage / civil partnership of convenience.
When a marriage / civil partnership of convenience is suspected, the burden of proof is high and rests with the ECO. However, in these cases the ECO is entitled to interview the applicant. Factors to consider include:
- an adverse immigration history;
- doubts about the validity of documentation;
- application follows soon after the marriage / civil partnership;
- no previous evidence of the relationship.
The ECO should not consider the following cases as marriages / civil partnerships of convenience where:
- there is a child of the relationship;
- there is evidence to suggest cohabitation.
11. EUN2.11 How do unmarried partners qualify for an EEA family permit?
An unmarried partner can be considered for an EEA family permit as an extended family member if they are in a durable relationship with the EEA national. The ECO will have to consider factors such as the length of cohabitation, joint finances, whether the couple has children together to establish whether or not the relationship is durable. Each case must be looked at on its own merits. While regulation 12(2) makes provision for the issuing of a Family permit to extended family members (including unmarried partners), ECOs should be aware that only meeting the extended family member criteria is insufficient. Even where an ECO is satisfied that the applicant is in a ‘durable’ relationship, the ECO needs to go on to consider whether ‘in all the circumstances, it appears to the entry clearance officer appropriate to issue the family permit’ Regulation 12(2)(c). Factors to be considered here are those set out at EUN2.7.
12. EUN2.12 Can fiancé(e)s, and proposed civil partners qualify for an EEA family permit?
Fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners are not recognised as family members or extended family members in the EEA Regulations unless they can show they are in durable relationship. However, provisions have been made for fiancé (e)s and proposed civil partners of EEA nationals paragraph 290 of the Immigration Rules. Fiancé(e)s and proposed civil partners of EEA nationals applying under these Rules will have to pay the usual fee. For the purposes paragraph 290 of the Immigration Rules, an EEA national who is a qualified person in the UK is considered as present and settled if they have permanent residence as set out under schedule 2 of the EEA Regulations.
An application as the fiancé / proposed civil partner of an EEA national can only be considered if the specified fee has been paid. This is because you will need to assess the application under the Immigration Rules and not the EEA Regulations. An applicant who does not qualify for an EEA family permit can only be considered against the Immigration rules once the specified fee is paid. Regulation 31 of the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2009 clearly says that if an application to be assessed under the Immigration Rules is not accompanied by the specified fee, the application is not validly made.
Example: The fiancée of an EEA national working in the UK applies for an EEA family permit, free of charge. She does not qualify under the EEA Regulations and has not paid the specified fee to be considered under paragraph 290 of the Immigration Rules. There is therefore no valid application before the ECO. In this instance the ECO should refuse and first address why the applicant did not meet the EEA Regulations. Reference should then be made to Regulation 31 of the Immigration and Nationality (Fees) Regulations 2009.