Permanent right of residence shall be acquired by EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members once they have resided in the UK for continuous 5 years or less in certain circumstances in accordance with the European Economic Area Regulations.
What are EEA permanent residence application requirements?
In order to be granted EEA permanent residence (PR) and issued with UK PR card, a non-EEA family member of an EEA national must show the following:
- He or she is a family member of an EEA national.
- He or she has resided in the UK for continuous period of 5 years.
- He or she must have resided in the UK for continuous period of 5 years with an EEA national. Although it does not mean that a family member must reside with an EEA national under the same roof as long as their marriage or civil partnership is not dissolved. If you are separated from your EEA sponsor, please call us to find out if you are still eligible to apply for a permanent residence.
- An EEA national must have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years in accordance with EEA Regulations, i.e. he or she must have been exercising his or her Treaty rights for 5 years or ceased exercising them in permitted circumstances.
The period of 5 years continuous residence is subject to absences from the UK that are permitted by the European Economic Area Regulations.
Although it is not compulsory, EEA nationals can themselves apply for a document certifying their permanent residence in the UK once they have resided in the UK for continuous 5 years in accordance with European Economic Area Regulations.
An EEA national applying for UK permanent residence must show:
- He or she is an EEA national.
- He or she has been exercising his or her Treaty rights for continuous 5 years in the UK or ceased exercising them in permitted circumstances.
Why EEA nationals should apply for a document certifying their permanent residence in the UK?
EEA nationals enjoy free movement right to come and reside in the UK for extended periods of time if they possess right to reside as qualified persons under the European Economic Area Regulations. EEA nationals are deemed to possess right of residence if they move to another member state within EU and engage in one or more of: job search, work, self-employment, self-sufficiency or study. They are not required to apply for any documents from the Home Office.
However, since November 2015 an EEA national willing to apply for British citizenship must hold EEA PR certificate or card before he or she makes citizenship application.
What is going to happen to EEA nationals and their family members in the UK after Brexit?
We receive many calls from our clients every day who are panicking after the EU referendum’s results. We would like to assure you that there are no immediate legal consequences to EEA nationals and their family members that flow directly from the referendum result. The legislation concerning EEA nationals’ right to reside in the UK and right to PR after 5 years currently remains unchanged.
However, it is unknown what exactly is going to happen after the UK actually leaves the EU in an estimated two years time.
We therefore strongly advise our clients to apply for documents confirming their right to reside in the UK under the EU law as soon as possible.
What if your application is refused?
If the Secretary of State decides to refuse your EEA permanent residence application you have two options:
- You can make a fresh application.
- You can lodge an appeal to the immigration tribunal.
We are here to help you to choose the right option for you depending on your individual circumstances.
What are applications processing times?
The Secretary of State must issue an EEA national with a document certifying permanent residence in the UK as soon as possible upon receipt of the application.
A non-EEA family members of an EEA national must be issued with an UK PR card no later than 6 months after the date on which the application was submitted to the Secretary of State.
Can you lose your EEA permanent residence?
The right of EEA PR in the UK can be lost through absence from the UK for more than 2 consecutive years or due to public interest in deportation action against individual.