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EEA Residence Card

Welcome to RLegal Solicitors’ EEA Residence Card section. 


If you are in the UK already and are married or in a committed relationship with an EEA national who is exercising Treaty rights, you could be entitled to an EEA Residence Card which will allow you to stay and work for 5 years.

You can obtain the right to stay in the UK if your European family member is working in the UK either as an employee or as self-employed person, is studying or is economically self-sufficient.

* Students and the economically self-sufficient must hold comprehensive medical insurance.

If you are not yet in the UK, should read the EEA Family Permit section here.

RLegal’s solicitors have over 30 years experience of submitting successful EEA applications. With the knowledge and skill that we have acquired across 3 decades of practising immigration law, we will guide you through the evidential requirements and assist you from start to finish with your application.  Ensure a successful application by contacting us today.

To talk to a recognised expert, please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7038 3980. You can also email us on or complete our online enquiry form.

You can read about EEA Residence Cards in more detail below.

An EEA national wishing to stay in the UK with non-EEA family members must demonstrate that they are exercising a right guaranteed under the Treaty.


An EEA national can exercise Treaty rights through:


- employment;

- self-employment;

- study*;

- self-sufficiency*.


* Individuals who exercise Treaty rights in the UK on the basis of study or self-sufficiency must hold comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the United Kingdom which covers themselves and any dependants.


You do not have to meet the Home Office’s minimum income threshold or demonstrate competence in English language.

The definition of “family member” includes spouses, civil partners, children up to the age of 21 and dependant parents.


Children over the age of 21, parents that cannot show they are dependent, and other relatives are defined as “extended family members”.


Dependence in this instance means either:


- the person is residing in an EEA State in which the EEA national also resides and is dependent upon the EEA national or is a member of his household; or

- the person is accompanying/joining or has already joined the EEA national in the UK and continues to be dependent upon him or to be a member of his household.


Students are only allowed to bring their partner and/or children to the UK.


Unmarried or same sex partners are considered to be “extended family members” for the purpose of the EEA regulations. Rather than having to demonstrate dependence, these individuals must show that they have formed a “durable relationship” with their EEA national partner. This is usually satisfied by showing that you have lived together for at least 2 years. This period can be less if, for example, you have a child together.

A non-EEA national may also qualify for a derivative right of residence as the:


- primary carer of a British citizen child or dependent adult, where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would force that British citizen to leave the EEA (‘Zambrano’ cases);


- primary carer of an EEA national child who is exercising free movement rights in the UK as a self-sufficient person, where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would prevent the EEA national child exercising those free movement rights (‘Chen’ cases);


- child of an EEA national worker/former worker where that child is in education in the UK (‘Ibrahim and Teixeira’ cases);


- primary carer of a child of an EEA national worker/former worker where that child is in education in the UK and where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would prevent the child from continuing their education in the UK (‘Ibrahim and Teixeira’ cases);


- dependent child under 18 of a primary carer in one of the categories set out above, where requiring that child to leave the UK would force the primary carer to leave the UK with them.

For those already in the UK, it is possible to apply direct to the Home Office via the postal system. There is no requirement that you are in the UK lawfully unlike under general immigration law. The process involves submission of an application with specified evidence. Processing times vary but are typically between 3-6 months.

– £65 per applicant

A non-EEA national family member will be deemed to hold permanent residence after 5 years in the UK so long as the EEA national has continued to reside in the UK and exercised an economic activity described above.


Although you are not obliged to lodge an application, if you wish to have proof of your permanent residence, e.g. for an employer, you will need to make an application to the Home Office.  Since 12 November 2015 the Home Office require EEA nationals and their dependants who wish to apply for naturalisation as a British citizen to hold a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card. They must hold permanent residence status for 12 months.

- Comprehensive legal advice.


- Ensuring your application meets the legal requirements.


- Assistance with compiling the complex evidence required for this category.


- Completion and submission of all forms.


- Ongoing liaison with the authorities where possible.


If you would like to discuss your EEA Residence Card in more detail, please contact us on +44 (0)20 7038 3980, email us at or use our online enquiry form.

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