An EEA National will have 'permanent residence' if they can show that they have been in the UK as a 'qualified person' for a continuous period of five years or more.
A 'qualified person means they either:
- Were in 'genuine and effective' work, or
- Had 'retained worker status', or
- Were 'self sufficient' with comprehensive medical insurance, or
- Were a 'family member' of an EEA National with qualified status, or
- Were a 'jobseeker'
- Or a combination of the above.
For what these mean go to this page and follow the links.
A 'family member' of an EEA national can also use a period while they have been 'piggybacking' on the EEA National's qualifying 'Right to Reside' status - including self-sufficient status - to build up their own permanent residence, so that after five years of 'piggybacking' they will have acquired permanent residence status themselves.
So a claimant seeking to show they have acquired permanent residence status may need to prove that they, or their EEA relative, did have a qualifying right to reside as a self sufficient person with comprehensive sickness insurance for a period in the past.
Many individuals were incorrectly told that they did not qualify because they had no private sickness cover.
In fact, because of the CJEU ruling, they would have qualified (assuming they passed Test 1: self-sufficiency.)
Some immigration law experts believe that despite having left the EU, individuals who have been financially disadvantaged by being incorrectly denied self sufficiency status have a short window of opportunity to claim damages, so long as the facts on which the claim is based happened before 31 December 2020, and so long as the damages claim begins before 31 December 2022.
Anyone in this position needs to seek advice from a registered immigration adviser or lawyer.