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Immigration advice

(9 Posts)
nialopes Wed 02-Mar-16 09:10:23

Hi hoping for a bit of advice here. I have dual nationality. I am British and Bulgarian. Back in 2011 I met my husband who is Brazilian and we decided to get married. He was here with a student visa at the time. We consulted with solicitor and he said he can marry me through Bulgarian or British passport but through British passport he will have to travel to Brazil and apply for spouse visa from there and at the time my husband did not want to travel to Brazil. So we got married through my Bulgarian passport and he received a 5 yrs family permit through european law. Now it is expiring and he was told he needs to apply for the EEA permanent residence card. We started filling in the application and one of the sections is asking whether he or i have claimed any benefits in these 5 yrs. He hasn't but i have as he struggled to find a job in the beginning so I had to support the family. I worked but also claimed some housing benefit. Now the immigration services are asking how i claimed when I am Bulgarian but I said I am also British so I claimed benefits as a British citizen. Now they say that will be a problem for my husband's application because he is applying through my bulgarian passport and as a Bulgarian I am not allowed to claim benefits. They say he should have married me through my British passport and are asking him to leave UK go back to Brazil and apply for spouse visa gain from Brazil and wait another 2 years which would mean that 5 yrs he just spend here didn't count! I just need some advice on this pls...

MrsLeighHalfpenny Wed 02-Mar-16 09:26:19

It's a difficult situation, but I don't see how you can just pick the best bits of being each nationality and swap around as you go. That wouldn't seem fair to other people.

I can't give you any legal advice, but moving forward I would chose one nationality as your "primary" nationality and then take the rough with the smooth.

tomatodizzy Wed 02-Mar-16 10:48:56

If you have been married more than 5 years and you are earning over the threashold, he can get a permanant residency visa in Brazil. It took three days for my husbands to come through (also Brazilian) at the consulate in Rio. British immigration is a mess (ours is a long story) and we have had a lot of problems, we are now living in Brazil. If you are earning under the threashold you can just apply for the EEA with your British passport. Or can he apply for citizenship? I know these things are usually recipricol and to get citizenship is 5 years for Brits in Brazil, so it should be the same there.

I don't really understand the bit about marrying through the passport? Did you marry abroad, or just marry in the UK as a Bulgarian citizen? Can you get your marriage certificate ammended to state you are both Bulgarian and British? We were married in the USA, but we were married 15 years ago and a lot has changed since then so I am not up to date with the new legislation. and I have ditched it anyway because I am sick of British immigration B.S.

nialopes Wed 02-Mar-16 12:21:41

We are married in the UK as a Bulgarian citizen. We went to a solicitor and he advised instead of him travelling to Brazil he can marry me here. And there was a choice. Our solicitor submitted all the paperwork and the home office accepted it so then I am thinking if they thought this is not right they should have refused the application and advised that because I am British he should marry me only with my British passport. Now after 5 years they say it's a problem. Anyway we are going back to same solicitor for advice

nialopes Wed 02-Mar-16 12:23:12

TomatoDizzy i don't want him to get another visa through Brazil because he has already been here legally as my husband for 5 years under european law so he should be getting a permanent residence card (which is like indefinite leave)

tomatodizzy Wed 02-Mar-16 13:45:55

Yes, in an ideal world you should be able to apply for it in the UK and get it because he is your husband and he has been in the UK for 5 years. Unfortunatly in my experience the world of immigration doesn't work in a logical way and we are not all treated in the way we would hope and expect to be treated.

My husband was only given a temporary leave to remain. Despite the fact that we had been married over 5 years and at the time had two children (we now have four), this was due to us living abroad. We expected to apply once in the UK, but it wasn't to pan out like that. We were sent from pillar to post, told information that contradicted what we'd read and then told more information that contradicted what we told before. My husband has been through deportation and we were once held in customs for 13 hours, with three small children and me 8 months pregnant. We have since left the UK and he now does have leave to remain, which he got in Rio with no hassle or headaches. Which is why I am advising it. He was treated like an immigrant despite being married to British Citizen for 15 years, father of 4 British citizens and qualified in a small field of engineering that currently has little or no British graduates. His case is sadly, not unique. I have lost count of the number of stories I have heard about the problems surrounding the choice to live as a British citizen in your country with your partner.

I think you are already being given the run-around as any loophole they can find, they use it. Good luck with everything and hope the solicitor can help.

tomatodizzy Wed 02-Mar-16 14:22:44

That should say treated like an illigal immigrant. Obviously he was an immigrant

nialopes Wed 02-Mar-16 15:15:48

tomatodizzy thank you for sharing your story. we will go to solicitor again and discuss with him as he was the one suggesting that we marry with my Bulgarian passport. If he has to go to Brazil to get the visa there he might even loose his job here which will be very difficult to get back! I will update you once we know what we are doing smile

Thistledew Wed 02-Mar-16 18:21:22

I suggest you go to another solicitor. The advice you were given about relying on your Bulgarian nationality was not correct (although, to give them the benefit of the doubt, you may have been given that advice before the law was made clear in May 2011). If you hold dual nationality, you cannot claim the benefits of EEA rights when residing in the country of one of those nationalities. i.e. because you are British, you cannot rely on your rights as an EEA citizen whilst residing in the UK (unless you have exercised treaty rights in another EEA country first).

There are options open to you, but you need to sit down with an experienced specialist immigration advisor and talk them through.

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