Marriage route for Romanian citizen from UK and Syrian refugee from RO

Hello, my name is Nick and I am following up on some of my old threads / posts on this forum. So, I am a Romanian citizen and, at the moment, I am working in The UK.

My girlfriend and fiancée, who is from Syria, finally got her ID and passport for international protection in Romania (same rights as refugees) after she applied recently, while on visit visa in Romania, both valid for 2 years. Now she lives in my aunt's apartment, waiting for documents and for my next visit to Romania.

Now we can finally get married (still waiting for the passport at the moment though) as, before changing her status to refugee, we needed her letter of no impediment. This letter of no impediment was impossible to get due to religious restrictions and the only way to get it from the Embassy was to first come from Syria... In Syria, the Internal Affairs could not accept me being Christian and her being Muslim (she is only Muslim in documents btw.). The only way was for me to convert to Islam... or for her to apply for asylum, which needed to happen considering what is going on in Syria.

I am sorry for the long introduction. Basically, I want her in The UK, legally, with me so I have a few questions and maybe you have more experience:

1. After we get married in Romania, she gets a 1 year stay there and we get the opportunity to apply for a 5 years permit which will make us, as a family, look stronger in front of The UK authorities (because applying for that permit in Romania requires 3 months of checks from authorities, interviews to point out we are actually a family and we don't bend immigration rules, which we don't...) when we want to apply for the EEA family permit in The UK.

Should we go this way? Will she be required to go to The UK Embassy in Romania when we apply for this? I don't prefer this way as we have known each other for over two years and have visited each other in the past in Beirut until I got her to stay in Romania. All I want is to be married to her, which I can now, as well as her next to me, in The UK - on this we are working at the moment.

2. What if I apply for a fiancee visa in The UK? But she has refugee status in Romania... would this work?

3. Should we just get married in Romania and then bring her in The UK without applying for the 5 years permit in Romania first? This would be the option I prefer...

What do you think? I have asked many questions on this forum and I also found helpful replies and we took it step by step. What do you think the best option would be?

4. P.S. How do you think Brexit is going to affect our situation in the following year?

Many thanks and I look forward to your replies,
Nick

I hate to say it but Brexit might cause you more problems, but in truth no one knows, hopefully we will know more as the days and months go by.

From what I read, in the near future, until 2021, there should not be any problems... it depends, what sort of problems are you referring to?

Hi again,

The problem at the moment is that we are currently just over 2 weeks away from the next Brexit critical point.  At which point one of 3 things will happen; the UK will either decide to leave the EU with the Prime Ministers current deal; or leave with no deal at all; or not leave at all and the current ongoing discussions going on at the EU court this afternoon could mean that Article 50 be withdrawn, which could mean a complete review of the EU's Lisbon Treaty in its entirety which will throw the whole EU into chaos while that is sorted out.

It doesn't help that all the UK Governments advice on what will happen in the event of no-deal is only relevant to UK citizens.

Because of this, anything that has an EU link is up in the air and won't be coming down any time soon.  I think the best option would be to concentrate on visas that do not depend on your EU citizenship, so maybe EEA (so, she needs to apply for her Article 10 residence card in Bulgaria as soon as possible), or maybe a work visa for her in her own right (although you haven't said what skills she has, so may not be an option).

UK Marriage visas are only for 6 months maximum duration (read about them here) and they can't be turned into any kind of UK residence permit, they are visitor visas, not residence permits; so you would have to re-apply for a family permit.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Hi Cynic, very grim what you wrote.

I will turn 5 years of UK next year in May; with a few weeks spent outside of the country. In the same time, I get married at the beginning of January and I want to apply for EEA to bring my wife here.

Do you think that The UK will object if a EU citizen wants to bring his non-EU wife here, wife that has a 1 year stay permit in an EU country?

I have all I need to support us... why would that be a problem anyway, even with Brexit on top of all? It is not like they are getting ready for war!...

Epsilonn :

Hi Cynic, very grim what you wrote.

I will turn 5 years of UK next year in May; with a few weeks spent outside of the country. In the same time, I get married at the beginning of January and I want to apply for EEA to bring my wife here.

Do you think that The UK will object if a EU citizen wants to bring his non-EU wife here, wife that has a 1 year stay permit in an EU country?

I have all I need to support us... why would that be a problem anyway, even with Brexit on top of all? It is not like they are getting ready for war!...

Hi again,

Brexit has become very grim, with individual politicians going out of there way to improve their position.

It's not a case of the UK objecting, it's what the regulations say at the time of your application; as of today, the current regulations say that if your wife has an Article 10 residence card from any EU country, then she will be able to apply to join you in the UK; the card will say specifically whether it is Article 10; anything else right now is guesswork and speculation.

The UK Government have issued a webpage relating to Immigration Advisers; this link will take you there.  There are 2 items of interest; one is a statement saying "There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until 2021. You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK after June 2021. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.", the other is a section on "The Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC)", they maintain a register of Immigration Advisers; as your situation is quite complicated, I would advise you to contact them and get some advice from them on how best to proceed.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

ok Cynic I will do that. I wasn't aware of half of this... You mentioned something about my fiancee going to Bulgaria to make that document...? Why Bulgaria? I will read about it but why would she go from Romania to Bulgaria to make that document?

Hi again,

If I said Bulgaria, then it was an error (apologies); an Article 10 residence card from any EU country would be relevant.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

ok so I do that and not the EEA permit? Would that card be issued by UK in my case as I live and work here. My fiancee is waiting for me in Romania until we resolve our documents.

What would happen afterwards? She accompanies me and what then? Do we apply for something else later on?

Epsilonn :

ok so I do that and not the EEA permit? Would that card be issued by UK in my case as I live and work here. My fiancee is waiting for me in Romania until we resolve our documents.

What would happen afterwards? She accompanies me and what then? Do we apply for something else later on?

Hi again.

No, you don't need an Article 10 card, they are only issued to non-EEA family members (ie. your wife should be issued with one by the Romanian government).  This link on the UK Gov website explains the process.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Hi Cynic and thank you for guiding me but please be a bit more patient with the next reply:

Why does it say there: 'For example, the non-EEA spouse of a French national who is living and working in Italy may be issued with an Article 10 residence card by the Italian authorities.'??

In my case, wouldn't it mean this card is issued by The UK. Everywhere I read online, is the same analogy.... so confusing. Can you clarify the above example as it says clearly that the non-EU spouse is issued that article 10 card in the country where her EU partner lives and works (as long as the partner lives and works in any EU country, other than his country of nationality.....)

Also, from what you say now, if I misunderstood the above statements, is that article 10 the actual 5 years permit, the one you obtain after Immigration Officers controls the couple and interview them? Because this is what I originally asked. But the legal terms are the way they are.

Assuming that article 10 card is the 5 years permit card, we could just apply for EEA Family permit even without the article 10? How do we show The UK that we are actually a family? Because, in order to get the 5 years permit card, in Romania for example, the Immigration Office performs checks etc...

I hope you understand... basically the 5 years permit is stronger proof that we are a family (but I wouldn't go and spend a month and a half in Romania for the whole process as I work in The UK). But.... if we don't have it, then we can just skip it and apply for EEA family permit for The UK. For the EEA Family permit in The UK, are there any controls or interviews? I just want to know how this works because all I want is to bring my wife here and then they can do whatever in The UK to realize we are a couple etc...

Hi again,

In the example provided "the non-EEA spouse of a French national who is living and working in Italy may be issued with an Article 10 residence card by the Italian authorities"; the Italian is working and living in Italy and has the right to live and work there; his spouse is a non-EU citizen who has been granted a residence permit to live in Italy, so has been granted an Article 10 residence card by the Italian authorities.  He now wishes to travel to work in the UK and his wife can accompany him on the basis of her being in possession of an Article 10 resident card issued by another EU country.

You said previously that your future wife is now resident in Romania (an EU country) and you are returning there shortly to marry her.  You are a Romanian and have brought her there, so to formalise her residency there, she must have a resident card for that country and it will be issued on the basis of her marriage to you; it is that card that will permit you/her to apply for an EEA visa for your wife to accompany you to the UK; the 5-year permit you referred to in paragraph 1 of your opening post is an article 10 residence card.  When you first came here to the UK, you didn't go through any formal registration system, the UK doesn't operate like that; so when you return to the UK after your marriage, your situation is the same as the example.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Hi Cynic, it says a 'French national who lives and works in Italy'...

My fiancee will get a resident card as well? Besides new ID and new passport after marriage? We did find out that she will get a new ID valid for 1 year but I don't know about resident card... what can you tell me about this?

Either way, we need to know what to do after marriage to make it simple for all parties involved. To apply for that article 10 card? Or to go to UK Embassy in Romania and apply straight for the EEA family permit?

Applying for article 10 requires me to spend time in Romania.... and I would only do that if it is the ONLY way to show a strong relationship and to bring her here! But I live and work in The UK... so I would do something similar here if required... that I don't know and understand. I just to be in line and play fair with the authorities and the law sow e don't have any problems.

But then again, if the EEA Family Permit works without the article 10 card (which I know it should but I just don't want REJECTIONS on the grounds we cannot prove we are an actual family... you understand...), us being a couple formed of a EU and non-EU citizen, what methods of checking or investigating does The UK use? Considering Romania (or maybe any other country in the EU or even the world) would check and interview us before getting that article 10 card...

Please help me with these lines I wrote here Cynic and thank you for all your advice.

Hi again,

An EU resident card is issued to all non-EU citizens resident in an EU country; this is an Article 10 card and as your family member, the Romanian Government must issue her with an Article 10 card; if you are unsure or she doesn't have one, then you will need to confirm this with the Romanian authorities (i.e. ask them when she will receive it).

I'm wondering if we're at cross-purposes here and you are referring her residence permit as an ID card.  Exactly what Passport and residence permit does she currently have?

To try and simplify this, you have 2 options:

Apply for an EEA Family permit - you do this on-line from this link, or
If your wife has a (Romanian) EU article 10 residence card, she can just travel with you and she will be processed at the airport on arrival in the UK; she does not have to apply before she travels; she just needs the documentation described in the link I previously provided; that's how the system works and it's used every day by many people.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

At the moment she has a 2 year valid ID that says 'International Protection' on it. But that will change after marriage and all I know is that she gets a document that says she is allowed 1 year in Romania.

Of course, in this time we take care of the rest. We either

1. Apply for 5 years permit (article 10 as you say) and for that I have to spend time in Romania... like I previously mentioned and after that we go for EEA Family permit.

or

2. We go directly for EEA - but what about controls, interviews etc... wouldn't a successful EEA application in this case be like a circumvention of rules? Because in the 5 years permit case, people would control and interview us in Romania etc...

What do you think? What about the other thing that made me confused in your previous reply:  '''it says a 'French national who lives and works in Italy'...'''

First off, the thing about the French National is a quote from an example on the UK Government website about article 10 residence permits (it was on a link I previously sent you; it would be helpful if you could read these links as it would save you a lot of questions).

I've just checked the Romanian government website regarding International Protection documentation; this link will take you there.  Bearing in mind that at the moment, you are not married to your fiancee, so she has no rights in the EU except those granted to every other refugee - so I suspect that Article 10 is not relevant until you marry her; so you need to ask the Romanian government if she will gain a Romanian Article 10 card when she marries you.  If so, then assuming she has the rest of the documentary requirements, she can accompany you on a flight after she gets her article 10 card and be processed at the UK airport of arrival, sounds the simplest and easiest way of achieving your aim.  If not, then she'll have to apply online from Romania; the documentary requirements will be the same and there will probably be a cost involved.

Hope this helps.

Cynic
Expat Team

Hi Cynic and thank you for all your posts. I read the links yes but, for example, this is what I read somewhere else as an example:

''For example, the non-EEA spouse of a Romanian national who is living and working in Italy may be issued with an Article 10 residence card by the Italian authorities.''

This lead me into a big confusion because, by analogy, the above means that, in my case, the article 10 for my future wife would be issued by The UK... whereas we established and I understood from all reading that article 10 was in fact the 5 years permit card, issued by... Romania, in my case...

After marriage, we asked and we found out that she receives a 1 year permit. Whatever that document might be or look like, it is 1 year so, if it's not 5, it is not the article 10 card.

The above paragraph led me into thinking that we can either apply for 5 years permit or go directly for EEA permit... So, either way, right after marriage she CANNOT travel with me... this is what I understood from Romanian authorities as I asked all people there...

The rest of the story I explained. We go the hard way (apply for article 10 in RO) which is great for showing good family bond for the EEA application (in case we ever need that after article 10 card.....) or we simply go for EEA Permit (which I am asking myself whether in the eyes of the authorities looks a bit like a circumvention and we would get rejected because we don't show stronger proof aka article 10 card!)

The last paragraph is bugging me so much... if you can provide me with some more feedback please.

P.S. This is what I picked up on another forum:

''For example, a non-EEA spouse of a ROMANIAN national living in ROMANIA will usually hold a residence permit issued under ROMANIAN domestic law. Therefore, a United Kingdom EEA family permit is required for travel and entry to the UK.''

Hi again,

I see the confusion; an article 10 card (only issued to non-EU citizens) is issued by the EU country where she is resident; your future wife will not be issued with a UK residence card until she is legally resident in the UK.  Once you have the article 10 card, then you don't need to apply for an EEA Family Permit, she can accompany you.  However, if she has no article 10 card, then you have to go for EEA Family Permit, it's your only option.

If you are married, then there is no requirement to prove you're in a lasting relationship; quote = "or proof that you’ve lived together for 2 years if unmarried"

Hi Cynic, but do you think that not having that resident card from RO will affect our application for the EEA permit? As this is in fact what we want to do.

This is what I picked up on another forum:

'After getting married in Romania, she applies for an EEA Family Permit (valid 6 months) at the UK Embassy.
Only after she arrives in the UK, she can apply for a Residence Card for family members of EEA nationals (valid 5 years).'

I want to bring her in The UK without the authorities thinking this is a 'convenience marriage'... you understand what I mean.

But, assuming all is good with the EEA permit, in the UK we will apply for that residence card or article 10 card the same way as we would apply in Romania? That I don't know. And to get that residence card we need to pass interviews here and authorities will perform check on us?... because I am very ok with that as long as we are in The UK and I work... But I don't know these things... can you please help me on this?

Hi again,

No, I don't think it will affect your application.

With regard to applying for a UK residence card; the UK  Gov website says that she applies for her UK EEA permit online from abroad (read the link and it explains the process); it makes sense for that card to be her article 10 card because it's her permit; why issue her with 2 permits?

Cynic, I thank you very much for your answers and I appreciate your patience. Now to put things in practice.

All the best,
Nick

We're here to help.

I wish you and your intended a wonderful wedding and the very best of luck in your lives together. :)

Cynic
Expat Team

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