Permanent Residence Application

Permanent Residence ApplicationEEA Permanent Residence Card

An EEA Permanent Residence Card is issued to non-EEA national family members and extended family members of EEA nationals who have exercised Treaty rights in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of 5 years.  An EEA Permanent Residence Card confirms a right of permanent residence in the UK.

What are the main eligibility requirements for an EEA Permanent Residence Card?

In order to qualify for an EEA Permanent Residence Card, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

  • You have lived in the UK continuously for five years with your EEA family member or extended family member;
  • You have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in any one year (except that you will be permitted one longer absence for an important reason, such as military service or pregnancy);
  • Your EEA family member or an extended family member has been exercising Treaty rights as a worker, self-employed person, student or self-sufficient person throughout the five year period.

If applying for an EEA Permanent Residence Card as an extended family member, you will need to have held a valid EEA family permit or residence card throughout.

You can also qualify for an EEA Permanent Residence Card if you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, first as the family member of an EEA national and then with a retained right of residence.

You can also qualify for an EEA Permanent Residence Card if you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years as the family member of a British citizen if you entered the UK under the ‘Surinder Singh’ route.

It is possible to obtain an EEA Permanent Residence Card before 5 years if either:

  • You were living with your EEA national family member, who was working or self-employed in the UK, immediately before their death; or
  • Your EEA national family member was working or self-employed in the UK but has ‘ceased activity’ (stopped work or self-employment because of retirement or permanent incapacity, or because they are now working or self-employed in another EEA state but are still resident and return to the UK at least once a week).

What else do I need to know about the EEA Permanent Residence Card?

There is no legal requirement to obtain an EEA Permanent Residence Card because the right of permanent residence exists as a matter of European Union law. However, an EEA Permanent Residence Card acts as confirmation of your right of permanent residence in the UK and this will make it easier to re-enter the UK, prove your right to work and obtain various services. It is also necessary to obtain an EEA Permanent Residence Card before an application can be made for Naturalisation as a British citizen.

An EEA Permanent Residence Card application can only be made from within the UK, and decisions are supposed to be made within six months.

If your EEA Sponsor is applying for an EEA Permanent Residence Card at the same time it may be possible for you to apply online.

If you are applying as a family member of an EEA national then the Home Office must issue you with an EEA Permanent Residence Card once you have provided the necessary supporting documentary evidence to establish your right of permanent residence.

If you are applying as the extended family member of an EEA national then the Home Office retains discretion as to whether to issue an EEA Permanent Residence Card.

You do not need to provide evidence for all your time spent in the UK. You can rely on, and provide evidence for, any continuous (5 years) period of qualifying residence.

If you are relying on a qualifying period of residence that ended more than 2 years ago you must also provide evidence that you have not spent more than 2 consecutive years outside the UK since the qualifying period ended.  This is because the permanent residence is lost if you have been outside the UK for 2 continuous years.



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