The EU long-term residence permit is a permanent residence title to live in an EU member country. Note that Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom are not part of the EU long-term residency program.
To be eligible, third-country nationals must have lived in the EU country where they apply, for at least five years. The best thing about a permanent residence permit in EU is that it is valid until further notice. You do not need to renew it, or reapply for one after a period.
Who Is Eligible for an EU Long-Term Residence Permit?
To apply for an EU residence permit for non-EU citizens you must meet several conditions. The eligibility criteria for an EU long-term residence permit are as follows.
- You must have lived in the EU country where you apply for at least 5 years.
- You must have the financial means to support yourself. If you have dependents, you should also prove that you have enough means to support them too.
- You must have sufficient command of the official language of the country where you are applying for an EU residence permit.
- You must have at least basic knowledge of the legal and social system and the way of life in the country where you are applying.
- You have sufficient living space for you and the members of your family forming part of your household.
Application Process for an EU Long Term Residence Permit
You should apply for an EU long-term residence permit at the immigration authorities in the EU country you are residing. You should apply while your current temporary residence permit is still valid. It is recommended to apply three months before your current residence title expires.
To apply for an EU long-term residence permit, follow the steps listed below:
- Send the required documents to the immigration authorities. This is the first thing you do. Depending on the EU country where you are residing, you may have to submit the documents in person, or through the post. Make sure you submit all the required documents for an European Residence Card.
- Provide your biometric information. After the immigration authorities receive your documents, they will invite you to provide your biometric information. In some countries, you can do it in the day you submit the documents in person.
- Pay the fees. You will also need to pay the fee for an EU long-term residence title. Note that the fees change from one country to another.
- Wait for the processing of your application. The immigration authorities will process your application. Upon that, you will receive a notification on the decision on your application.
If you get a positive decision on your case, you will be invited to collect your EU long-term residence permit. If the decision is negative, the immigration authorities will check if you are instead eligible for a permanent residence permit. If you are not, then they will check if you are eligible for an extension of your current temporary residence permit.
EU Long Term Residence Permit Requirements
The required documents for an EU long-term residence permit are the core of your application. Since there is no interview for this type of residence permit, the decision on your application depends mostly on the required documents.
Yet, there very few documents that you need to submit. The required documents for an EU long-term residence permit are as follows:
- Your valid passport.
- One photo according to the Schengen photo rules.
- Color copies of the passport pages containing personal data and all pages that contain stickers or stamps.
- Evidence you have resided in that country for at least five years.
- A valid registration certificate issued when you arrived in the host country.
- Evidence that you have been living in the country, such as utility bills and rental contracts.
- Evidence such as payslips, bank statements, tax returns that you have been working, studying, self-employed, self-sufficient or looking for work.
- Proof of income. This could be your work contract, bank statements, pay slips etc.
- Proof of Accommodation. Submit a rental contract or home ownership document, which also indicates the area of your place.
- Health insurance. Submit evidence that you have health insurance either by the public or a private provides.
Please note that these are only the common requirements for the EU countries. Some of them have a few additional requirements, which may change from one category of applicants to another.
EU Long Term Residence Permit Fee
The costs for an EU long-term residence permit differ from one EU country to another. The countries charge applicants as much as their nationals pay for their identity cards.
I.e. in the Netherlands, adult applicants need to pay €171, whereas in Germany applicants need to pay a fee of €109.
EU Long Term Residence Permit Application Processing
An EU country takes about four to six weeks to process an EU long-term residence permit application.
EU Long Term Residence Permit Validity
The validity of an European residence card depends on the EU country where you apply. However, the document is automatically renewable without any condition or requirement. When your residence title is about to expire you will receive a notification that it has been extended for another period.
Yet, you may also receive a notification that you have lost your right to the residence permit. If so, you will receive the details on such a decision.
Reasons for Rejection of Application
Your application for an EU long-term residence permit will be rejected in the following cases:
- You are considered a threat to public policy and security.
- You have been absent in the country where you are residing for more than 12 consecutive months during the last five years.
- You are suspected of fraud.
- The number of non-EU citizens admitted by the EU country you are applying in, is already set out by the hosting stat.
Benefits of the EU Long Term Residence Permit
If you get an EU long-term residence permit, you will enjoy almost the same rights as the nationals of the country you are living in.
The main benefits that come from an EU permanent residence card are:
- You will have access to employment and self-employed activity.
- You will have access to education and vocational training.
- You will have social protection and assistance (at least core benefits).
- You will have access to goods and services.
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