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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Good morning! As an EU citizen I am planning to move to the

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Good morning!
As an EU citizen I am planning to move to the UK with my unmarried partner with whom I am in a lasting relationship. My partner is a non-EEA citizen. As I understood it, he has the right to apply for an EEA family permit based on our relationship.
The problem is that years ago I got married to an American citizen in the USA, where I soon became a victim of daily domestic abuse, which included expropriation of my savings, locking me up in his house, taking my passport, preventing me from working, as well as physical abuse. He got arrested, I flew back to Europe, and I have not heard from him since then. I did not file for a divorce in the USA.
At the moment I live with my unmarried partner in Serbia, where the American marriage is not legal, thus based on the Serbian law, I have never been married. I would like your insight on the situation, will my marriage affect my partner’s application for the EEA family permit?
I am looking forward to your answer.

As your marriage was lawful under US law, it will be valid under UK law and your problem is that you would not qualify under the definition of "durable relationship" which requires that your previous marriage must have been terminated by divorce, dissolution, annulment, or death.

Sadly, your partner would therefore not qualify for an EEA Family Permit under the above ground.

Hope this helps
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your answer!

I am going to start the divorce process these days. In case I am divorced during those years while I was in a durable relationship with another person (which is legal in the country where we live), will that period of durable relationship be accepted by the UK Immigration Law? Or my partner has to wait another 2 years to apply for an EEA Family Permit?

I do not think that point has been tested before, but I would advise you to go ahead and apply for the EEA Family Permit once your divorce is finalised as it does not state anywhere that the 2 years have to be after your divorce.

All the best
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