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UKSolicitorJA
UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
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I am a US citizen who lived in the UK between 1986 and 1997

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I am a US citizen who lived in the UK between 1986 and 1997 first with a work permit and then with a permanent residency card. I am married to a UK citizen since 1996. I had applied for UK Citizenship. However, circumstances required that we return to the US where we have lived since that time. Since I was no longer living in the UK and had no immediate plans to return, my application for citizenship lapsed.
My wife and I now wish to retire to Spain. I can apply for a visa without engaging in any type of lucrative activities in Spain. Another alternative would be to live in Spain under the conditions EU Directive 2004/38/EC. From what I have been able to discern, to do so I would need to be a UK resident.
Would it be possible to obtain UK residency will continuing to live in the US?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 1 year ago.
Hello,
You cannot be resident in the UK while living in the US.
You may want to check whether your UK citizenship application was approved as it would not have lapsed unless you withdrew it before it was decided.
As a UK national, you would be free to live in Spain as a self sufficient person under EU law in your own right. You may also reside in Spain as a spouse of a UK national exercising treaty rights in Spain.
So, provided both of you are self sufficient, you are free to reside in Spain.
As you do not require a visa to enter Spain, you should simply proceed there with your spouse and once in Spain, you should apply for a residence card.
All the best
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