EEA Permanent Residency | European Citizens | EEA Nationals & Family Members
Permanent residency is a route for an EEA national or their family members to apply for settlement. As a European citizen, you are deemed to automatically acquire permanent residence after completing 5 lawful years in the UK under the European Regulations. However, you will need to prove that you have been a qualified person under Regulation 15 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2016, also referred as EEA Reg 2016.
The route is being closed down, to allow the EEA Settlement Scheme to be enforced from 1st January 2021. Whilst there are no differences between a person holding permanent residency and EEA settled status, the first will not be valid post 1st Jan 2021.
As part of the permanent residency application, you will be asked to meet the continuous residency requirements. Regulation 3 of the EEA Reg 2016 requires you to complete 5 years residency and limited absences from the UK. You must not have excessive absences from the UK. There are exception policies to one instance of absences from the UK but you will need to provide explanation with evidences in respect of the absence.
In the case of Onuekwere (C-378/12), the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) found that periods of imprisonment by family members of EEA nationals cannot be taken into consideration for the purposes of gaining a right of permanent residence. In addition, the court found that periods of residence both before and after prison cannot be aggregated and counted towards the 5 year qualifying period for permanent residence.
The case of MG (C-400/12) confirmed the principle that continuity of residence can be broken by periods of imprisonment in the context of the acquisition of enhanced protections from expulsion (Article 28 of the directive). MG also established the position that for individuals who are imprisoned, when calculating continuous residence for the purposes of Article 28 enhanced protections, this must be counted backwards from the expulsion date.
Permanent residency at a glance
Making an application to certify permanent residence can be complex and the number of documents required tends to deter people from submitting an application. Yet this could be the only option for some EU migrants to ensure security with regards to their status in the UK. This is more likely to apply to EU migrants who have recently entered the UK and are closer to clocking up 5 years as opposed to 6 years, but it applies to all EU citizens who have lived here for a very long time with the passport of their country of origin, provided they meet the rules and requirements.
Once you are granted your permanent residency card, you have no restrictions on your stay in the UK and do not have to be a qualified person to remain in the UK. This means that there are no restrictions attached to your leave in the UK and you are free to exit and enter as you wish, provided you are not out of the country for more than 2 years at which point Permanent Residence is lost.
Permanent Residence also gives organisations peace of mind when employing European nationals. A document proving you are free from immigration control is far more comforting than a passport without an endorsement.
Applying for permanent residency
In order to qualify for permanent residence, a person needs to have been residing in the UK as a qualified person for five years. Possession of a residence certificate or residence card is not enough by itself because these are always issued for five years and a person might cease their qualifying activity during the five-year period.
You can apply for a document certifying permanent residence if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years as a qualified person. This will prove your right to live in the UK permanently.
You can also apply if you’re the family member of a qualified person, or you have a retained right of residence. You must have lived in the UK for 5 years. In some cases, you can get permanent residence if you’ve lived in the UK for fewer than 5 years.
Download and fill in the document certifying permanent residence application form. Post it to the Home Office address on the form, with the £65 fee and supporting documents.
A decision on a permanent residency application take around 6 months, however decisions are being made quicker. This depends on your personal circumstances and the evidences lodged at the date of application.
Refusal of an EEA permanent residency card
If your application for an EEA Permanent Residency Card is refused, you will be able to appeal against the decision. You will have 14 days to lodge an appeal against the decision. The First Tier Tribunal will act as the intermediary to your appeal.
When appealing against the refusal, you will be asked to complete the claim form, submit the legal grounds and evidences.
We recommend that you take some legal advice at first, to see whether the decision was reached correctly or not. You can email us a copy of the decision letter to email@example.com.
As part of our process, we will advise whether you should appeal the decision or re-apply for the EEA Permanent Residency Card. We will explain our reasons on why you should either appeal or submit a new application.
Legal advice for the EEA permanent residence card
Our UK Immigration Lawyers will provide you with the very best advice and most importantly putting your best interest at first. Our commitment to you is:
It’s not that we think differently. It’s that we are different given our time in this industry. Reassuringly so. You can speak to one of our UK Immigration Lawyers on 0207 237 3388 or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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