European Permanent Residence

European Permanent Residence

Those who are an EEA (European Economic Area) national or a family member of an EEA national and have lived in the UK for 5 years by exercising their treaty rights, it is possible to obtain Permanent Residence.

During the 5-year period the applicant must exercise his treaty rights by: working, self-employment, studying or being self-sufficient.

As of November 2015, it became a requirement to receive this document before applying for British Citizenship.

We can help you make a successful application.

European Permanent Residence

This type of document is for those who have lived in the UK for at least 5 years (this type of document can be obtained by non-European family members as well).

To be eligible for this type of visa you must be:

  • A Family Member of a European national
  • Have lived in the UK for 5 years with no lengthy absences
  • The European must have been employed, self-employed, student or self-sufficient
  • You must have been employed, self-employed, student or self-sufficient
  • You are married to the European or have proof of your relationship or family lineage
  • Not have any unspent criminal convictions

This type of document does not have any specific maintenance or English language requirement.

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 Permanent Residence for Europeans

How can I apply for this document

You must be a family member, extended family member (or have been one previously) and you and your sponsor must have lived in the UK for 5 years.

Can I apply for this document any other way

Yes, you can apply for Retained Right of Residence (RRR) by being married to your partner for 3 years, lived together for 1 year and your sponsor must have worked during the divorce procedure (other conditions may apply depending on the circumstances).

I have been taking care of a European national can I apply for this document

Unfortunately no, if you are a care taker you can only extend your visa you will not be able to settle under this route.

Can I leave the country with this document

Yes however, you should aim not to leave more than 90 days per year.

Can I invite my family member with this visa

As long as your sponsor is still a European national he can invite your family to the UK. If not your family would have to apply under UK immigration law.

What documents will I need to show

Every case will demand different type of document according to the situation. However, you have to show 5 years of activity (e.g. work status and finances)

Will I be able to travel to Europe

You can travel with your sponsor. However, if you wish to go alone you will need a Schengen visa.

Is it possible to apply for a British Passport

Yes, after 1 additional year you can apply for Naturalisation. However, you should aim not to leave the UK for more than 90 days and you will need to pass the Life in the UK test.

I have lived with my European sponsor in a different EU country. Can I still apply under for this document

No, you must live in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years before you can apply.

Will I need to show any funds or my language skills

No, there is no specific requirement for English language or savings. However, if you do have some proof of your English language (i.e. a degree) it can be used to show as your progress towards integrating yourself into British society.

What will this document grant me

It will grant you an unlimited right to study, work and live in the UK. However, if you leave the country for more than 2 years or commit a serious crime this document will be revoked. It must also be renewed every 10 years if you do not intend to apply for naturalisation.

What is the processing time for this visa

The usual waiting time is 8 weeks. However, depending on the complexity of the case it may be sooner or it may take up to 6 months.

What are you getting?

Permanent Residence (PR) secure your place in the UK after 5 years of residence

NATURALISATION apply for a British Passport after 12 months


  • You will have a permanent right to work, live and study
  • Your family members can apply with you
  • You can leave the UK and comeback as you require
  • You have access to public funds

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