If you are the non-European family member of an EEA or Swiss national, and you have come to the United Kingdom with your EEA family member, you can apply for an EEA Residence Card. This is a document which confirms your right of residence under European law. Your Residence Card may take the form of an endorsement in your passport or it may be a separate document called an immigration status document. A residence card is normally valid for 5 years from the date when it is issued. It is important to understand that an EEA Family Permit and a residence card are not strictly required by EU law, but it is advised you obtain this documents for transparency and ease of applications. For instance if your residence card expires in 1 week this doesn’t mean you have to submit your next application within a week. There will not be ramifications for applying after the expiry date such as with normal UK visas.
Providing the correct documents for a EEA Residence Card application can be confusing if you don’t understand the rules. This is because the document list depends on the way the EEA national exercised their treaty rights over the past 5 years. If you are unsure what you need to apply for your Residence Card contact our office and we will be able to offer professional immigration assistance.
When you have lived here for a continuous period of 5 years with the EEA or Swiss national (who must have been in employment, self-employment, studying or self-sufficient in the UK throughout the 5 years), you can apply for confirmation of your right to permanent residence in the UK. A Permanent Residence application can take 6 months to process so it is advised you apply as soon as possible to avoid disruptions to any travel plans.