I am German but made the move to the UK in January of 1998. For the first two years I lived here as an AuPair, originally planning on returning to Germany. However, I ended up deciding to stay and made the permanent move in January 2000.

I went straight into a Modern Apprenticeship, earning enough money to support myself. I worked full time in 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 and up until November 2005.

In 2003 I married my (British) husband. Due to his work we moved to Thailand for a period of almost two years. We lived there from 07/12/2005 to 22/11/2007, only returning to the UK for a short visit inbetween. However, we did own our property in the UK which we let whilst away, so I still had ties to this country.

Whilst in Thailand I gave birth to our first child. When we eventually moved back to the UK, I became a stay at home mum, as my husband was earning enough to make this possible. Other than Child Benefit I've never received or applied for any assistance. We had another child and I did not return to work until September 2015.

Now to my questions: Am I right in thinking that the period from 2000 to 2005 qualified me for permanent residency? Would I then have lost that right when we lived in Thailand, or was I just within the time frame to hold on to it?

If I have lost it, should I have had Comprehensive Sickness Insurance during the time I stayed at home with my children? Despite being married to a Brit and having paid NI before moving to Thailand? To be honest, I had never even heard of CSI before last week, when I looked up info about requirements for permanent residency due to Brexit worries.

I guess the main question is, do I currently have or qualify for permanent residency? I am just really confused right now over my status and how the Brexit will affect my family.

  • 1
    And where do you live now? – Tymoteusz Paul Feb 18 '17 at 18:53
  • I am in the UK. – Tbutch Feb 18 '17 at 19:35
  • It's simple - if you can prove 5 continuous years, then you apply for permanent residency. In your case, however it's even simpler: since your husband is British, you should have no issue applying as a spouse; and you can then naturalize (if you want). – rbm Feb 21 '17 at 16:24
  • @rbm: At the moment this is all tricky. Since EU citizens can currently just move to the UK, they don't expect EU citizens to apply as a spouse at the moment. Right now it seems as an EEA citizen you can't get a visa, and you can't get a UK Residence Card. Because you don't need them. – gnasher729 Feb 23 '17 at 1:10
  • I agree that you don't need them, but you can apply to obtain them - I am speaking from my own experience. You start with registration certificate, and then after 5 years you can get the EEA Permanent Residency (PR), one more year and you can start naturalization. If she's concerned with post-brexit situation, that's what she can do. Getting PR even without naturalization would be the best - she'll have the full legal right to stay in the UK, while keeping her (I assume) German passport - that way she'll be able to get the best of both worlds, if she chooses so. – rbm Feb 23 '17 at 11:04

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