Your Right to Live in the UK as an EEA Citizen

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.

Following the implementation of the EU Settlement Scheme in March 2019, EEA Nationals and family members can now apply for Pre-Settled Status ( limited leave to remain).  After 5 -years as a Qualified Person in the UK you can apply for Settled Status.   These applications can be completed using an android or iPhone and supporting documentation can be uploaded online.

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. If you have resided in the United Kingdom for more than 5 years, your Permanent Residence document should be back dated by the Home Office.  To put this in context we can review the example below:

A ( Austrian National) arrives in the UK in May 2003 and began working in July 2003 and continues to do so to date.  A applied for Permanent Residence in October 2019, following 16 years residence as a qualified person.  A actually acquired permanent residence in May 2008.  Therefore, contingent on the correct supporting documentation being provided to the Home Office, the Home Office should back date A’s permanent residence document.

A can now apply to naturalise immediately as he has held Permanent Residence for more than 12 months preceding his naturalisation application.

Under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can now apply for Settled Status ( Indefinite Leave to Remain).  The only downside to applying for Settled Status over Permanent Residence is that you will need to wait 12 months prior to naturalising.

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.