Personal Immigration

EEA RESIDENCE CARDS

EEA RESIDENCE CARDS

An EEA Residence Card is a residence document issued to non-EEA national family members and extended family members of EEA nationals who are exercising Treaty rights in the United Kingdom.  An EEA Residence Card confirms a right of residence in the UK.

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

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

  • Your family member is an EEA national in the UK (but not a British citizen);
  • You are the ‘family member’ or an ‘extended family member’ of an EEA national;
  • The EEA national is a qualified person – someone who is exercising Treaty rights or has the right of permanent residence.

You must be a family member or extended family member of the EEA national:

A ‘family member’ includes:

  • A spouse or civil partner of an EEA national;
  • A child of an EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner who is under 21;
  • A child of an EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner, aged over 21 and who is dependent on the EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner;
  • A parent or grandparent who is dependent on the EEA national or his/her spouse;

An ‘extended family member’ is someone who does not fall within the above, and includes:

  • An unmarried partner who is in a ‘durable relationship’;
  • Other family members, such as brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, cousins who are dependent on the EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner. Dependency can be established by showing that you were dependent on the EEA national in their country before moving to the UK, or you formed part of the EEA national’s household in that country before moving to the UK and you continue to be dependent on the EEA national or continue to form part of the EEA national’s household in the UK;
  • A relative of an EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner who requires personal care from the EEA national on serious health grounds;

The EEA national must be exercising Treaty rights:

  • As a jobseeker;
  • As a worker;
  • As a self-employed person;
  • As a self-sufficient person with health insurance;
  • As a student with health insurance (please note that if your family member is exercising Treaty rights as a student then you must be their child or their spouse or civil partner).

Or be someone who has already acquired the right of permanent residence.

You may also apply for an EEA Residence Card on the basis of having a ‘retained right of residence’ if your relationship with the EEA national has ended.

It is possible for a non-EEA national to retain a right of residence where:

  • The relationship with your EEA national spouse or civil partner has ended with a divorce, dissolution or annulment. You must have been married for at least three years and have spent at least one year in the UK (if you separate but do not divorce, then under EEA law you remain a family member of an EEA national and therefore your right of residence may continue on this basis);
  • Your EEA national family member has died;
  • You are a non-EEA national parent with custody of a child who has a right of residence in the UK;
  • You are the child of an EEA national who has died or left the UK;

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

There is no legal requirement to obtain an EEA Residence Card because the right of residence exists as a matter of European Union law.  However, an EEA Residence Card acts as confirmation of your right of residence in the UK and this will make it easier to re-enter the UK, prove your right to work and obtain various services.

An EEA 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 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 Residence Card once you have provided the necessary supporting documentary evidence to establish your right of residence.

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

An EEA Residence Card is normally valid for five years. After five years you may be eligible to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card as confirmation of your right of permanent residence in the UK.

How our immigration barristers can help

Our immigration barristers regularly assist EEA nationals and their family members to relocate to, and settle in, the UK.

Whether you require expert advice on the requirements of the EEA Regulations, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for an EEA residence document or professional assistance with preparing an EEA residency application or appeal, our immigration barristers can help.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to EEA nationals and their family members as part of a professional and friendly service.

WE CAN ALSO ASSIST WITH

  • Applications for EEA Registration Certificates

    EEA Registration Certificates are issued to EEA nationals who are exercising Treaty rights in the United Kingdom and wish to prove their right of residence. Similarly, the EEA family members of persons exercising Treaty rights may wish to apply for a Registration Certificate.

  • Applications for EEA Documents Certifying Permanent Residence

    EEA Documents Certifying Permanent Residence are issued to EEA nationals who have lived in the UK and exercised Treaty rights for a continuous period of 5 years or more. EEA Documents Certifying Permanent Residence confirm a right of permanent residence in the UK.

  • Applications for EEA Permanent Residence Cards

    EEA Permanent Residence Cards are 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. EEA Permanent Residence Cards confirm a right of permanent residence in the UK.

  • Applications for EEA Derivative Residence Cards

    EEA Derivative Residence Cards are issued to non-EEA nationals on a variety of bases showing that a right of residence is derived from EU law.

  • Applications for British Citizenship by EEA Nationals and Family Members

    If order to qualify for British citizenship (naturalisation) as an EEA national or family member of an EEA national, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:

    • You are at least 18 years old;
    • You have held a right of permanent residence for at least 12 months;
    • You have been granted an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence or EEA Permanent Residence Card as confirmation of your right of permanent residence in the UK;
    • You were in the UK on the day five years before the date of your application;
    • You have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the intervening five year period;
    • You have not been in the UK in breach of the immigration laws at any time during that five year period;
    • You have not been absent from the UK for more than 90 days during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of your application;
    • You are of good character;
    • You have sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language;
    • Your intentions are that if your application is successful your home (or principal home) will be in the UK.

    If you are an EEA national or family member of an EEA national under the age of 18 then you may qualify for British Citizenship by Registration.

    The Secretary of State has a discretion to treat some of the requirements as met even where they are not. However, the Secretary of State has no discretion to waive the requirement to have acquired a right of permanent residence.

    EEA nationals and their family members applying for naturalisation as a British citizen must be able to produce an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence or EEA Permanent Residence Card as confirmation of their right of permanent residence in the UK. Applications for confirmation of permanent residency can take up to 6 months to be decided by the Home Office.

  • Immigration Appeals by EEA Nationals and Family Members

    If your application for an EEA residence document has been refused, our immigration barristers can advise you on the merits of making a fresh application and/or challenging the decision by way of an appeal to the Immigration Tribunal.

    As well as preparing high quality EEA residence document applications, our immigration barristers provide professional legal advice and representation in relation to every aspect of pursuing a UK immigration appeal.

    Our immigration appeal barristers advise on the merits of appealing against Home Office immigration decisions, draft grounds of appeal and applications for permission to appeal, prepare appeal bundles and provide representation at immigration appeal hearings before the First-tier Tribunal, Upper Tribunal and higher courts.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To arrange an initial consultation meeting with one of our immigration barristers, contact our EEA Nationals and Family Members immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form.

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