- What do I need to know about the EEA Residence Card?
- Who is Classed as a Qualified Person For The EEA Residence Card?
- EEA residence for family members
- EEA residence card for extended family members
- Retained rights of residence
- What is the Surinder Singh application?
- How do I apply for permanent EEA residence?
- Which documents do I need to include in the application?
- Frequently asked questions
What is EEA Residence?
An EEA residence card is a permanent residence document which can be issued to those from non-EEA countries (as well as Switzerland) who have lived in the UK for at least five years.
It can be applied for on the basis of being a family member or extended family member of someone from the EEA or Switzerland.
The EEA residence card, or document, can be used to help someone re-enter the UK more easily after travelling abroad, to show employers a right to work and to prove they qualify for certain benefits and services.
What do I Need to Know About the EEA Residence Card?
Nationals from the EEA, Switzerland and non-EEA countries can all apply for a permanent residence card/document. You can apply for a residence card with an EEA family member, or as a ‘qualified person’ who is from the EEA/Switzerland.
There are a few different routes which can lead to a person being eligible for EEA permanent residency, which are explained in greater detail below.
It is not a requirement to hold an EEA residence card if you are living in the UK as a family member of a qualified person.
However, if a non-EEA national is living in the UK on the basis of being an extended family member of an EEA national, they will need to apply for a residence card.
It is important to note that EEA residence cards will not be valid after 31st December 2020. Those who wish to stay in the UK after this time must apply to the EU settlement scheme.
Who is Classed as a Qualified Person For The EEA Residence Card
One of the routes towards getting an EEA residence card is as an EEA/Swiss national who is classed as a ‘qualified person’.
A person is qualified if one of the following applies:
- They are working
- They are self employed
- They are studying
- They are self sufficient
- They are looking for work
If someone wishes to apply for permanent EEA residency in the UK on the basis of being a qualified person they would need to complete ‘form EEA (QP)’.
What is the Derivative Right of Residence Card?
The Derivative Right of Residence Card is a type of EEA residence card for those who fall into one of the following categories:
- You’re the carer of an EEA citizen or UK national
- You’re the child of this carer
- You’re the child of a former worker from the EEA and you’re currently in education
EEA Residence Card for Family Members
You can apply as a direct family member of an EEA national if one of the following applies:
- You are their spouse or civil partner
- You are under 21-years-old and the child or grandchild of the person
- You are under 21-years-old and the child or grandchild of the person’s spouse or civil partner
- You are under 21-years-old and the dependent parent or grandparent of the person
- You are under 21-years-old and the dependent parent or grandparent of the person’s spouse or civil partner
If the EEA family member is a student, you will only be eligible for the residence card if you’re their spouse or civil partner or the dependent child of the person (or the person’s spouse or civil partner).
EEA Residence Card for Extended Family Members
As mentioned, you must apply for a residence card (or EEA permit) if you are applying as an extended family member of an EEA national.
To be eligible for the residence card as an extended family member, you must:
- Be the unmarried partner of the EEA national and in a lasting relationship with them which is akin to a marriage or civil partnership
- A relative of the EEA national who doesn’t qualify as a direct family member
- A relative of the spouse or civil partner of the EEA national who doesn’t qualify as a direct family member
Relatives can include siblings, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews and cousins.
Retained Rights of Residence
Retained right of residence is another route through which someone can receive an EEA residence card. If you used to have a family member or extended family member who was a permanent resident or qualified person, you could be eligible.
In the following circumstances, you may get retained right of residence:
- Your marriage or civil partnership to an EEA citizen has ended
- Your EEA family member has died and you lived in the UK as their family member for at least one year before their death
- You are in education and you are the child of an EEA citizen who has died or left the UK
- You are in education and you are the child of the spouse or civil partner of the EEA citizen who has died or left the UK
Bear in mind that you will need to provide sufficient evidence of the change of circumstances if you wish to apply for retained right of residence.
As an extended family member, you can only retain right of residence if you currently hold a valid residence card as the extended family member of an EEA national.
What is the Surinder Singh Application?
There is another possible route towards EEA permanent residence known as the Surinder Singh route.
You could be eligible if you have lived in an EEA country that is not the UK or Switzerland with a British family member and one of the following is true:
- You are the spouse or civil partner of the person
- You are under 21-years of age and dependent on a British parent or grandparent
- You are under 21-years of age and dependent on the spouse/civil partner of a British parent or grandparent
- You are the parent or grandparent of a child/grandchild (or their spouse/civil partner) that you are dependent on
The British family member must have the right to permanent residence in the EEA country where you lived together or provide proof that they were working or studying. This person must also be working, be self-employed, studying or looking for work in the UK.
To find out the full requirements for applying via the Surinder Singh, including all the required documents, please call us now on 0121 718 7022. We can provide expert guidance on all forms of EEA residence applications.
How do I Apply for Permanent EEA Residence?
It is possible for a qualified person to include their family members in their application for an EEA permanent residence card. As mentioned above, the form for qualified persons to complete is form EEA (QP).
If someone is applying as the direct family member of an EEA national, they will need to complete form EEA (FM). Those applying as extended family members need to fill in form EEA (EFM).
All of the EEA residence applications can be completed online. Alternatively, you can fill in a paper form version and post it to the Home Office.
An EEA residence application costs £65 per person. You will also need to pay £19.20 to have your biometric information taken (fingerprints and a photo).
We can provide full assistance with EEA residence applications. With our unrivalled expertise, we can guarantee that your chances of receiving the outcome you are looking for will be maximised.
Call us now on 0121 667 6530 to find out what we can do for you.
Which Documents do I Need to Include in the Application?
The specific documents which you need to submit to the Home Office depends on your particular circumstances and the route through which you are applying for EEA residence in the UK.
The following documents will be needed:
- A current passport
- 2 passport-sized colour photographs
- One passport-sized colour photograph of EEA national family member (if applicable)
- EEA family member’s valid passport or national identity card (if applicable)
- Evidence of relationship to your EEA family members, such as a marriage certificate, birth certificate or civil partnership certificate (if applicable)
Bear in mind that any documents which are not in English or Welsh must be translated by an accredited translator.
Last modified on August 23rd, 2023 at 1:33 pm
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If you have not received your EEA residence card within ten days of receiving a decision, you should email the Home Office on BRCDelivery@homeoffice.gov.uk quoting the following information:
- Your full name, date of birth and nationality
- Your passport number
- Your case reference number
- A contact telephone number
- Your delivery address
Ordinarily, you will be eligible for British citizenship after you have spent six years lawfully living in the UK, which includes at least one year of living in the UK under Indefinite Leave to Remain status.
There are a number of requirements which you must fulfil in order to be eligible for British citizenship, including work and financial requirements.
Call us now on 0121 667 6530 to find out how we can help you become a British citizen.
We can help with any immigration law query or application. Our highly experienced immigration lawyers in Birmingham can provide full support and expert guidance, ensuring you get the result you deserve.
Whether you are looking for help on an EEA residence application, want to apply for a Spouse Visa or secure a type of work permit, our immigration law specialists are here for you.
Call us now on 0121 667 6530 to speak with one of our friendly client care team.
It typically takes up to one month for EEA Residence applications to be processed.
- The option of obtaining British citizenship
- Hassle free entry at British borders
- The option of obtaining an EEA Permanent Residence Card
You have the option to consider submitting a fresh EEA Residence Card application instead of submitting an appeal.
However if you do decide to appeal, you need to submit your appeal against the rejection of your Residence Card application to the First-tier Tribunal within ten business days (or five business days if you are in detention) after receiving the refusal letter.