I am a Turkish citizen was married to an EU (Estonian) citizen and got a divorce in Edinburgh (where I live ) couple of months ago. I am currently based in the UK(been living and working here since 2015 January) and holding an EEA Family Member Permit, which will expire by 2020. However, on my return yesterday from a holiday abroad I told on the border that I am not married anymore (As I have been doing it each time I enter to the country). This had been the case last month when I arrived at the Manchester airport where I again explained my current relationship status clearly and after an hour check they did let me in. This time though, I was told the information I was given in Manchester border was wrong and instead I got stamped a 6 months visa. I've been told my EEA family permit is no longer valid and I need to apply for another type of visa outside of the UK. I was well aware my current EEA permit could have been invalid since my circumstances had changed ( after the divorce with my partner) but there was no clear guidance of what to do next and information on home office website didn't quite match with my situation. Is there a way I could apply for any type of Visa without having to go back to Turkey? I receive no public funds, I'm a tax payer, working as a self employer teaching Turkish as well as got a part time job in an office (just got the job).

I would greatly appreciate if anyone has been through a similar situation or has got information on what to do next.

Many thanks in advance


  • 3
    Are you familiar with Article 13 of Directive 2004/38/EC?
    – phoog
    Apr 14, 2017 at 19:15
  • 1
    And how long have you lived together?
    – Sayed A.
    Apr 14, 2017 at 22:32
  • We lived together in the UK from 2015 Jan until the divorce 2016 Dec, more than a year and both still work and intend to live here. I live in Edinburgh where we got divorced and he is in London. We keep in touch therefore I'm able to get any sort of documentation that are required, if any. Thanks
    – Nysa
    Apr 15, 2017 at 8:55
  • We got married in 2010 in Estonia and always lived together.Moved to UK in 2015 January.
    – Nysa
    Apr 15, 2017 at 8:58

3 Answers 3


For people who finds themselves in the same situation, here's what happened.

I was able to send my application to Home Office to "retain rights of residence'' from within the UK and was granted for 5 years BRC .


on www.gov.uk/

Visas when you separate or divorce

1. Tell the Home Office

You must tell the Home Office when you divorce or separate from your partner if your visa is based on your relationship.

You must then either apply for a new visa or leave the UK.

Your visa is based on your relationship if you have permission to stay in the UK for a limited time as:

  • a dependant on your partner’s UK visa
  • a spouse or partner on a ‘family of a settled person’ visa
  • the partner of a British citizen, EEA national, ‘settled’ person with indefinite leave to remain, or someone with refugee status or humanitarian protection.

2. Apply to stay in the UK

If your visa is based on a relationship that’s ended, you must either:

  • leave the UK
  • apply for a different visa to stay in the UK

for example, you may be able to apply:

  • for a work visa
  • to settle in the UK
  • as a parent of a child who’s British, settled in the UK or has lived in the UK for at least 7 years
  • based on your private life in the UK, eg you’ve lived in the UK for a long time

you can switch your current residence permit/visa to a different one within the UK and here's the available options for you.

  1. Settle in the UK by yourself
  2. Remain in the UK through the ‘parent route’
  3. Switch to a work visa if you’re employed

Other ways of staying

There are other ways of getting a visa if you’ve been living in the UK for a long time. These routes are called ‘private life in the UK’, for example if:

  • you’ve lived continuously in the UK for at least 20 years
  • you’re under 18 and have lived continuously in the UK for at least seven years
  • you’re between 18 and 24, and have spent at least half your life living continuously in the UK
  • you’re over 18 and have no ties with the country that you’ve have to return to - this means you need to have no social, cultural or family ties with that country. Good luck.
  • 2
    But it seems like this relationship qualifies under article 13(2)(a) of the directive. The material you quote concerns the "normal" non-EEA immigration regime, while the OP's status should be governed by the EEA regime.
    – phoog
    Apr 17, 2017 at 0:01
  • 1
    @phoog the link I quoted above from www.gov.uk it says; "Your visa is based on your relationship if you have permission to stay in the UK for a limited time as: the partner of a British citizen, EEA national" which makes it relevant to the OP's situation!
    – Sayed A.
    Apr 17, 2017 at 7:46
  • 1
    But the gov.uk page is wrong: a family member of an EEA national does not "have permission to stay in the UK for a limited time." It also does not mention the EEA "retained right of residence" route, which as we can see from Nysa's experience is the one that actually applies here.
    – phoog
    Sep 14, 2018 at 16:42

The correct uk.gov page for your case is Apply for a UK residence card, where, under Eligibility, it notes the circumstances entitling one to a retained right of residence.

Retained rights of residence

You can also apply if you used to have a family member, or extended family member, who was a permanent resident or qualified person. This is called a ‘retained right of residence’. You may get this if, for example:

  • your marriage or civil partnership to an EEA citizen has ended (with a divorce, annulment or dissolution)

  • ...

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