Separated PFA partners – again.

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    Andy Simpson

    This seems to be a fairly regular question on these boards – PFA partners. Our homeless unit have asked if we would pay HB for partners fleeing violence. Reading through several posts there doesn’t seem to be a simple yes or no answer (is there ever). So, I’m trying to look at a few scenarios to see what we might have to consider in each case.

    Firstly, am I right in thinking that the first question is to ask whether they were married – I’m assuming that a non-married partner of a UK citizen fleeing violence would have to be assessed purely on her status as an EU/non-EU citizen and whether she meets the relevant tests?

    If she is married but separated does her status depend on that of her partner? If so what are the things to consider for a partner fleeing from a:-

    A UK citizen
    An EEA national
    An A8/A2 national

    Surely it can’t be as simple as deciding if they would qualify for HB if they were still living together and applying that to the now single woman (I live in hope but not expectation).

    Finally, does the presence of kids change anything?




    A shortish answer can be given on two of the categories; the others are more complicated.

    The easy ones first:

    [b:169ad6a371]1. Separated partners of UK nationals[/b:169ad6a371]

    Their entitlement to benefit as a single person depends on their own personal status.

    For non-EEA nationals: do they currently have leave to enter/remain in the UK? And is it subject to a no public funds condition? For exampole, a spouse might have limited leave for one or two years with no recourse to public funds; or they might have indefinite leave with no strings attached.

    If the separated partner is an EEA national, they may have a right to reside based on their own economic staus – connection to a UK partner will not normally assist them under EU law.

    [b:169ad6a371]2. Separated partners of non-EEA nationals[/b:169ad6a371]

    Basically as above – do they have leave to enter or remain (if not an EEa national), or do they have a right to reside under EU law (if an EEA national)?

    [b:169ad6a371]3. & 4. – Separated partners of EEA nationals (including A2/A8)[/b:169ad6a371]

    This would take ages to cover in full, but some very quick pointers:

    – separated but not divorced spouses/civil partners still count as a spouse and can therefore derive a right to reside directly from the principal European as if they were still a couple
    – divorced/widowed spouses and civil partners can retain their right to reside if they had one through their spouse at the point of divorce/death; but for non-EEA nationals there are further conditions
    – similar rules apply if the spouse/civil partner has left the country
    – the above rules are easier to satisfy if there are children in school at the point of death/divorce/departure from the country
    – see Articles 12 and 13 of Directive 2004/38/EC
    – unmarried cohabitees have absolutely no rights of their own once the relationship with the principal European ends – they would then revert to groups 1. and 2. above.


    Our homeless unit has approached with a query.

    Customer is Iraqi with a Residence Card of a Family Member of an EEA national but is now single. He resided in the UK illegally for 10 years and then gained the residence document. The former partner / family member was a girlfriend from whom he has seperated and has no contact. He has no other family in the UK. He currently receives JSA(C).

    Can we look into him retainig worker status etc in his own right or do we refuse as the residence card is no longer valid as he is seperated from the EEA national?

    If we can look into his status do we also need to track down the former family member to see what she is up to?

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