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Your Right to Live in the UK as an EEA Citizen

Redfern Services Immigration

You can apply for a document to prove your right to live in the UK if you are a citizen of a European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

You are usually eligible for a:

registration certificate if you are exercising Treaty rights in the UK. There is the option to apply in person at a premium service centre. Your Registration Certificate will be valid for 5 years, after which you may be eligible to apply for a permanent residence document.

permanent residence document if you have lived in the UK for 5 years (or earlier in some situations - for example, if you retire). This confirms your right to live in the UK permanently without any conditions. The document should be valid for 10 years and is automatically renewable without any condition or requirement.

You can only use your permanent residence document to apply for British citizenship after you have lived in the UK for 6 years.

You do not need either document to live or work in the UK because the right of residence exists as a matter of European Union law. However, this document can make it easier to claim certain benefits and services and prove you have a right to live in the UK.

You are usually qualified if you are a citizen of an EEA country or Switzerland and you are working, studying, self-employed, self-sufficient or looking for work.

If the qualified person is in your close family, or you have a retained right of residence, you can apply as a ‘family member’.

To qualify as a “family member”, you must be the EEA citizen’s spouse or civil partner, or related to them (or their spouse or civil partner) as their:
• child or grandchild under 21 years old, or dependent child or grandchild of any age
• dependent parent or grandparent
• ‘extended’ family member’, eg brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece. You must be able to show that you’re dependent on the EEA citizen or are a member of their household, or have a serious health condition and rely on them to care for you.

You can also apply as an unmarried partner if you can show that you are in a lasting relationship with the EEA national. A list of fees payable for immigration services for individuals is set out here.

EU nationals applying online and without any family members for a document confirming their right to live in the UK can use the new passport return service which allows them to request a participating local authority to copy their passport and not have to surrender the original to the Home Office for consideration.

Please contact us to speak to our specialist immigration advisors to avoid unnecessary expenses and ensure your application for a registration certificate or permanent residence document has the best chance of success