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As part of its commitment to improve and digitise existing paper routes, the Home Office has this week expanded its online service for those applying for documents confirming residence under EU law.

The online service ( which previously enabled single applicants from the EU exercising treaty rights to apply online rather than by paper, now allows applicants the option of applying online on behalf of family members at the same time. 

Based on customer feedback, improvements have also been made to the way in which questions such as travel history are asked.

Under EU law, EU nationals and their family members who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK for at least five years automatically have a right of permanent residence. There is no requirement to register for documentation to confirm this status but people can do so if they wish.

Keeping your passport via the European Passport Return Service (EPRS

Customers are able to keep their original passport by using the Passport Return Service. This service ( is available to all nationalities and is offered via participating local authorities. 

It complements the online application service and enables people to retain their original passport whilst their application is considered. EPRS can only be used if the applicant has applied online. 

Using the European passport return service does not guarantee the success of the application and local authorities cannot provide any help or advice on the application form. There may be instances where the Home Office may request the original passport after the application has been submitted. 

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