EEA Residence Card

What are you getting?

Residence Card a 5-year visa that allows you to work, live and study in the UK

Permanent Residence you can apply for PR after 5 years


  • You have the right to work, live and study

  • You can stay in the UK for 5 years

  • You can leave the UK and comeback as you require

  • You will not need to be sponsored to work

The EEA Residence Card is aimed at family member of European Nationals who are in the UK. This type of document will grant those Family Members 5 years of residence.

To be eligible for this type of document the European Family Member must be exercising his treaty rights. In other words, the person in question must be a worker, self-employed, student or self-sufficient.

After the 5-year period the Family Members can apply under EU law for Permanent Residence (PR) documentation just like their European Family Member.

We can help you make a successful application.

EEA Residence Card

This type of visa is for those family members who are related to a European national. The relevant family member must:

  • Apply for this type of visa inside the UK
  • Have proof that you have some sort of relation to the European

Other ways you can apply for this type of visa are:

  • With a derivative right of residence (you are the carer of someone who has the right to be in the UK, the carer’s child, or the child of an EEA national who has previously worked in the UK)
  • Under the 'Surinder Singh' route (you are the family member of a British citizen who has lived and worked in another EEA country)
  • With a Retained Right of Residence (you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of an EEA national who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner.

A Family Member under this route is:

  • Spouse, civil partner
  • Child or grandchild under 21 years old, or dependant child or grandchild of any age
  • Dependant parent or grandparent

All other type of family members (including unmarried partners) are considered to be extended family members. However, they can still apply, it will just require additional documentation.

For this type of visa you will have to provide:

  • A valid passport
  • Evidence of your relationship to the European national
  • Proof that you are living together
  • Proof the European national is working, self-employed, student or self-sufficient

It is expected for your European sponsor to hold a Qualified Person certificate or a Permanent Residence document. Furthermore, while this is not a legal requirement it will help to improve the chances for a successful application.

For those Europeans who are Students or Self-sufficient they must have comprehensive sickness insurance

Upon a successful application you will receive a 5 year visa. This visa will allow you to work, study and live in the UK for 5 years. Also, at the end of the 5 year period you can apply for Permanent Residence (PR).

Other Eligible Routes

Retained Right of Residence

You can also apply if you have used to be a family member, or extended family member, who was a permanent resident or qualified person. You may be eligible for this if:

  • Your marriage or civil partnership to the European national has ended by divorce, annulment or dissolution
  • Your European national family member has died and you lived in the UK as their family member for at least one year before their death
  • You are in education and you are the child of a European citizen (or their current or former spouse or civil partner) who has left the UK or died
  • Your child has a retained right of residence because the are in education in the UK (and you have custody of them)

You will have to prove:

  • That your family member, or extended family member was a permanent resident or qualified person at the time your family
  • relationship ended
  • How the relationship ended (death certificate or decree absolute if you are divorced)
  • You have been married to a European national for 3 years, you have lived together for at least 1 year and that the European national was active (worker, self-employed, student or self-sufficient) during the time of divorce

Surinder Singh Cases

You may be eligible to apply for a residence card using the 'Surinder Singh' route if you:

  • Have been the family member of a British citizen
  • Have lived with them in another EEA country where they have worker or were self-employed before returning to the UK
  • Are able to show that your UK sponsor based their 'centre of life' in the EEA country in which you both were resident before returning to the UK

You can prove your UK sponsor genuinely moved to another EEA country with:

Proof of address, how long they have lived there and any other related information, e.g. if they rented a house.

Frequently Asked Questions - EEA Residence Card

I came to the UK without a visa but I have a European family member here. Is it possible to apply

Yes, it may be possible to apply for this type of visa. However, additional documents may be required.

How can I apply for this visa

You must apply for this visa inside the UK.

Do I need to show financial support

While under European Union Law there is no strict requirement to show any financial support, it is meant to establish a genuine relationship between family members.

I am an unmarried partner can I apply

Yes, you can apply as an extended family member. There is no pressure for you to get married once you are here.

I have a British spouse/civil partner/unmarried partner can I apply

Yes, you can apply as long as the British Citizen has proof that they have worked in a European country in the past.

I was married to a European national can I still apply

Yes, you can apply for retained right of residence. You would need to have been married for at least 3 years, lived together for one year and the European must have worked during the divorce proceedings.

Do I need to have saving or pass an English exam

No, you do not need to show any proof of your savings or pass an English exam to apply for this visa.

Can I apply for settlement with this visa

Yes, after 5 years you can apply under European Union Law and receive a Permanent Residence document.

What is an extended family member

An extended family member is someone like: an uncle, aunt, cousins, grandparents, nephews, nieces and etc.). Unmarried partners count as extended family members too.

Are there any conditions for this visa

Yes, you must show that your European Sponsor is still exercising his 'Treaty Rights' (i.e. working, studying and etc.)

How long can I stay with this visa

You can stay up to 5 years with this visa. Later on, you should apply for Permanent Residence (PR).

Can I leave the UK

Yes, you can comeback and leave the UK as you need.

Can I apply for a British Passport

After you have lived for 5 years in the UK and you have applied for EEA PR (Permanent Residence) you can apply for a passport after 1 additional year. However, you for this you will have to show your English language skills (pass an exam) and pass the Life in the UK test.

Will I be able to work with this visa

Yes, with this visa you are allowed to work, study and live in the UK.

Can I travel to other European countries

If you travel with your European partner, yes. Otherwise you must apply for a Schengen visa to the relevant country.

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