Applying for permanent residence on the basis on self-employment
Obtaining permanent residence gives an applicant the right to live, work and study in the UK without immigration restrictions. An EEA national exercising their Treaty rights can apply for a permanent residency after 5 years of continuous residency in the UK. An applicant must be a ‘qualified person’; a worker, student, jobseeker, self-employed, self-sufficient or a combination of these. This article will focus on the self-employed category.
Self-employed persons who are EEA nationals and are exercising their free movement rights in the UK by working for themselves are also regarded as Qualified Persons for the purposes of permanent residency. The term ‘self-employed’ is not subject to national definitions and therefore EEA nationals are not under greater scrutiny than UK citizens.
Applicants must be able to prove that they have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years in order to be granted a right of permanent residency. This can be proved in multiple ways such as by providing tenancy agreements, utility bills, bank statements, school or nursery letters or immunisation records in support of applicants under 18.
It should be noted that continuity of residency is broken if an applicant has spent time out of the UK more than 6 months in any year of his residency or he serves a sentence of imprisonment or a deportation or exclusion regarding him has been made. It will not be broken, however, if the applicant spent 6 months or less in another country in any year, had to complete military service, spent a period of time outside the UK of 12 months or less for an important reason such as pregnancy, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas posting.
In order for a self-employed person to prove that they have engaged in the qualifying activity, EEA nationals must be registered with certain regulatory authorities for income tax and national insurance as a self-employed person.
It is important to establish that the self-employment is genuine and effective. Essentially, anything that is below the general lifestyle of an EEA national in terms of income and time spent on the work will not be held as effective. However, there is no minimum income requirement.
Self-employed applicants will not lose their Qualified Person Status immediately if they are unable to continue working. In this case an applicant needs to prove that they are temporarily unable to work because of illness or an accident, are in duly recorded involuntary unemployment, are involuntarily unemployed and have embarked on vocational training or have voluntarily stopped working to start vocational training related to their previous work.
How can we help?
We are a highly experienced firm in regards to permanent residency applications. We can take care of the application on your behalf or provide guidance and assistance throughout the way to ensure you have the best chances for a successful outcome.