Complete guide to the EEA permanent residence, what it is, how to qualify, the application process, the requirements and more relevant details.

The EEA PR is a UK residence permit that allows non-EEA citizens to permanently live in the UK after living 5 continuous years as a family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen that is already a permanent resident.

Do EU citizens need an EEA Permanent Residence Card in the UK?

No. The card is meant for non-EEA family members of EEA citizens. The EEA citizens living in the UK can obtain an EEA Registration Certificate instead. The certificate helps them to easier re-enter the UK, easier prove their eligibility to work and to get benefits here.

Note: As of January 1, 2021 all the EU citizens and their non-EEA family members will not be allowed to remain in the UK if they do not apply for the settled or pre-settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme.

How to Qualify for an EEA Permanent Residence Card?

To qualify for an EEA PR you must stay in the UK for a continuous period of five years and be a family member of:

  • An EEA citizen who was/is a ‘qualified person’ or has rights of permanent residence in the UK.
  • An EEA citizen with retained right of residence.
  • A British citizen qualifying as a Surinder Singh case.

You can qualify for this card in less than five years of residence in the UK, if your sponsor was working or self-employed right before and they

  • Passed away.
  • Reached their retirement age, or they became permanently disabled.
  • Left the UK to work in another EEA state. Yet, the UK must have remained their country of residence, as they return here minimum once in a week.

During the 5 continuous years spent in the UK, you must not have left from here more than 6 months within one calendar year.

UK EEA PR Card Requirements

Standard required documents to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card are the following:

  • A duly completed EEA PR application form.
  • Evidence of identity and nationality.
    • Your valid passport.
    • Sponsor’s valid passport/EEA national ID card.
  • Recently made photographs.
    • Two passport-sized color photos of you.
    • Two passport-sized color of your sponsor.
  • Evidence of relationship with the sponsor.

Documents required for specific cases

If you’re a sponsor’s spouse or civil partner:

  • Your certificate of marriage/civil partnership with sponsor.

If you’re a sponsor’s child:

  • Your certificate of birth/adoption.

If you’re a sponsor’s grandchild:

  • Your certificate of birth/adoption.
  • Your parent’s birth certificate.

If you’re a sponsor’s parent:

  • Certificate of birth/adoption of sponsor.

If you’re a sponsor’s grandparent:

  • Certificate of birth/adoption of the sponsor’s parent (Your child).
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of your grandchild.

If you’re a sponsor’s sibling:

  • Your certificate of birth/adoption.
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of the EEA sibling.

If you’re a sponsor’s aunt/uncle:

  • Your certificate of birth/adoption.
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of the parent of your EEA nephew/niece (Your brother/sister).
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of your EEA nephew/niece.

If you’re a sponsor’s first cousin:

  • Your certificate of birth/adoption.
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of your parent over which the relationship with the EEA national exists.
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of the parent of the EEA cousin (the brother/sister of your parent).
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of the EEA cousin.

If you’re a sponsor’s nephew/niece:

  • Your certificate of birth/adoption.
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of your parent over which the relationship with sponsor exists.
  • Certificate of birth/adoption of the EEA aunt/uncle.

If you’re of sponsor’s family member/relative or of their non-EEA spouse/civil partner:

  • Certificate of marriage/civil partnership between the sponsor and their spouse/civil partner who is your relative.

If you’re a partner in a long-lasting relationship:

  • Evidence of living in the same house with the sponsor for at least five recent years.
    • Utility bills.This includes payment of water, gas, electricity, cable, internet, and telephone services. Must show joint names with the sponsor.
    • Council tax notice. Must show both names.
    • Bank and credit card statement. It must show the activity made in the five-year period.
    • HMRC employment history or different official evidence of employment.
    • Rental contracts.Of all the places rented during the given period.
    • Official NHS letters. Confirming your attendance.
    • Loan contracts with a UK bank.
    • Official letter from school.Confirming participation in studies (If you’re a child).
    • Mobile phone bills.
  • Evidence of joint custody rights over a child with the sponsor.
    • Certificate of birth/adoption. Showing you and EEA national as child’s natural/adoptive parents.
    • Parental orders, child arrangements orders, residency orders or contact orders. (If applicable).
    • Sponsor’s written consent to live with the child here.
  • Evidence of absences in the UK.  No evidence is needed if the complete period spent out of the UK does not exceed 6 months within a year.
    • Your previous UK residence and immigration authorizations. (Few or any of the following, as it applies).
    • Registration certificate.
    • Residence card.
    • Biometric residence permit.
    • Police report about a lost/stolen document. (If applicable).
    • Your previous passports/travel documents.
  • Evidence of your status/sponsor’s status.
  • If the sponsor has passed away: 
    • Sponsor’s death certificate.
  • If the sponsor has left the UK permanently.
    • Sponsor’ signed written confirmation of their departure. It must be issued, signed and stamped by the sponsor, stating their leave to another state is permanent.
    • Evidence of having built a life in the foreign state.

How to apply for an EEA PR?

You can apply for an EEA PR card either online or by sending a printout of a duly completed EEA PR application form. This must be supported by the required documents which confirm your eligibility for the card. They must be sent by post, to the address specified in the form.

Provdie biometric information

You are required to provide their biometric information such as fingerprints, digital photograph and signature at the post office branch, to cost about 19.20£.

You’ll get informed by the Home Office when to do so, as this office will send to you a biometric enrollment letter, after having submitted the application form. This letter includes instructions on how to appoint a meeting in the Post Office where you’ll be giving biometric information.

Pay the application fee

You’ll have to pay 65£ for you and the same fee for every joining family member on your application for an EEA PR card.

The payment of the application fees has to be made in any of the following approved methods:

  • Cheque/bankers draft.
  • Postal order.
  • Credit card.
  • Debit card.

Wait for the response

As soon as you complete your EEA PR card application, the Home Office will be processing your file submitted. As soon as the decision is taken, the Home Office responds with a decision letter letting you know if you’re approved, rejected or refused giving a card.

If you’re approved, the EEA PR card will be sent to you by post in 10 days from the date you receive the letter of approval.

Whether the application will be refused or rejected, you’ll be sent an explanatory letter from the Home Office. Through this letter, the office will present factors which led to such decision. The letter will also guide you on your eligibility and ways how to appeal against these decisions.

What if my EEA PR card doesn’t arrive within 10 working days?

If the card does not arrive in 10 working days from the receipt of the letter of approval, you must send an email to the Home Office on the e-address: [email protected], to require a clarification. The email needs to contain your name, birth date, passport number, your application reference number, all your contact details and living address.

In case your EEA(PR card received contains incorrect information such as incorrect names, birthday, birthplace, or different, you must send an email to inform the Home Office. The email must be sent not later than 10 days from the date of receiving the card. The email must contain your personal information and reference number of your card received.

What if my EEA PR card is lost or stolen?

When your EEA PR card is lost or stolen, an email to the Home Office: [email protected]  must be sent informing them directly. The email must include your personal information, reference number of your card, the police case reference number and details of losing/stealing it.

When an EEA PR card expires, it is damaged, it is lost or stolen, you’ll have to reapply for a new one.

If you’ve lost the card elsewhere despite the UK, you must apply for the EEA family permit first, as an entry visa to the UK. When you enter with an EEA family permit you’ll have to reapply for the EEA PR card.

Expiration of the passport with the EEA PR

When your passport with a valid permanent residence card expires, you’ll be required to reapply for a new EEA PR card. If you don’t get the new EEA PR card in the new passport, you’ll have to carry with you both, the old and new passport with them, whenever traveling abroad.

If for time your EEA PR card is being processed, your personal or contact details or sponsorship situation changes, you’re required to instantly inform the Home Office by providing the new information.

When you’re on a specific complex case, you’re suggested to provide a supporting cover letter with your application file, so the Home Office can easily consider such situation.

If you need to contact the Home Office by post office, about any of the aforementioned issues you must send your letters to the following address:

Returns Unit 
PO Box 163 
BS20 1AB 

Joint application for an EEA PR card

If you’re the main applicant and other non-EEA family members also qualify for an EEA PR card same time as you, you’re allowed to add them in your application form, for a joint application.

The appropriate format of documents for an EEA PR application

Documents to apply for a UK permanent residence card must be of the following standards:

  • Apart from the identity documents such as the passport, can exceptionally be submitted as certified copies if getting originals is not possible.  Such copies must be authenticated by the authority/organization which issues the originals/legal representative. Copies are accepted only if getting the originals is not possible.
  • Documents, whose original content is in a foreign language, are not acceptable.They have to be translated in English or Welsh by a recognized translator/translating company, containing the following details included: the written declaration “true and accurate translation of the original document”. Additionally, they must display the date being translated and details of the translator/representative of the translation company.
  • Translated copies must be accompanied by their originals.
  • Bank statements must be in electronic format. Every page must hold the banks’ official stamp.
  • Online applicants for EEA PR card are required to submit their passports to the Home Office after having been verified.They must first be verified and copied by a local authority which is a member of the European Passport Return Service.
  • Passports/travel documents/ID cards are accepted only in the original form.

Why is an EEA Permanent Residence Refused?

There’s a range of reasons why the UK Visas and Immigration reject or refuse applications for the EEA permanent residences.

However, commonly people get refused or rejected getting an EEA PR residence in the UK due to the following reasons:

  • Failing to present a valid national passport/identity card.
  • Not giving details of any long absences in the UK during the continual period of stay.
  • Presenting inadequate supporting documents. This takes account of document for proving activities as a job-seeker, worker, self-employed person, student, or as a self-sufficient person.
  • Submitting an unsigned application form.
  • Paying the incorrect application fee.

How long does it take to get an EEA PR Card?

It takes six months from the application day, EEA Permanent Residence Card to receive an answer from the Home Office.

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