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The CJEU rules on rights of residence of non-EU nationals on divorce

Date:18 JUL 2016
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On 30 June 2016 the European Court (CJEU) handed down its decision in Secretary of State for the Home Department v NA (Case C-115/15).1 Although it concerns the immigration status of a non-EU citizen it has (for the time being at least) significant ramifications on the rights of residence of non-EU citizens going through divorce proceedings in the UK. It also serves as a reminder of the need to take specialist immigration law advice at or before the commencement of divorce proceedings.

The summary facts are as follows. A Pakistani wife (W) married a German husband (H) in 2003. They moved to the UK in 2004 but W found herself the victim of domestic violence. H worked throughout his time in the UK. The parties had two children who were both born in the UK. In 2006 H left the marital home and returned to Germany. Two years later in 2008 W issued divorce proceedings in England and decree absolute was pronounced the following year. The CJEU was asked to rule upon whether W retained a right of residence in the UK.

There are three relevant provisions...

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