L, a Colombian national, came to the United Kingdom as an asylum seeker in 2002. Her asylum claim was unsuccessful. In 2004 L was granted a five-year Residence Card on the basis of her marriage to R, a Spanish national. In 2007 they had a child together, who is British. L wanted to apply for a Permanent Residence document, because she needed to visit her sick mother in Colombia regularly and always experienced problems when re-entering the UK.
L’s application for a Permanent Residence Card was refused in 2010 and again in 2014, as she could not show that R had been continuously employed for the requisite period. A family member of a European Union citizen has a right to Permanent Residence if the Sponsor (in this case L’s Spanish husband) has been continuously exercising his or her treaty rights for a five-year period. The challenge lay in the nature of R’s work as a chef. Although he had been employed for the last five years, it was with different employers, on short-term contracts. He had been paid in different ways, sometimes in cash. The Home Office routinely refuse such applications on the basis that there are “gaps” in the Sponsor’s continuous employment . In order to show continuous employment, it was necessary to puzzle together all R’s pay-slips, bank transfers and other documents, which proved that he had in fact been working almost continuously for the previous 5 years.
JCWI was able to prove to the Home Office that R had been in continuous employment for the past five years and L was finally successful in her application for a Permanent Residence card, after the third attempt.