Bishop & Sewell Established 40 years

The EEA Permanent Residence scheme will be superseded after Brexit by a new scheme, the details of which can be found here.

What is it?

Qualifying EEA nationals who have lived in the UK for a continuous period of at least five years can apply for an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence. This will act as evidence that they are entitled to stay in the UK indefinitely and will also enable the EEA national to apply to naturalise as a British citizen if desired.

What are the main requirements?

In order to make an application for an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence, an applicant must be able to demonstrate that:

  • they are an EEA citizen;
  • they have lived in the UK for a continuous period of at least five years (unless an exception applies);
  • they have not been absent from the UK for more than 180 days in each relevant year; and
  • they have exercised their treaty rights in the UK throughout the whole five year period.Those who are making an application that includes time spent as a student or a self-sufficient person must be able to demonstrate that they met the Home Office’s requirements in relation to comprehensive sickness insurance during the time they were a student or a self-sufficient person.

In order to show that the applicant has been exercising their treaty rights, they must be able to demonstrate that throughout the five year period relied upon they have been a worker, job seeker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person, a student or a combination of any of the above.

Those who are making an application that includes time spent as a student or a self-sufficient person must be able to demonstrate that they met the Home Office’s requirements in relation to comprehensive sickness insurance during the time they were a student or a self-sufficient person.

How long will the application take to be considered and can I hold on to my passport?

The Home Office is typically taking from three to six months to process the majority of applications. It is now possible for an EEA national to make an application and potentially retain their passport for travel whilst the application is being considered.

Naturalisation

An EEA national who holds an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence is able to stay in the UK indefinitely. They will be eligible to apply for British citizenship after demonstrating that they have been free of immigration restrictions for 12 months, unless married to a British citizen in which case they are eligible to apply to naturalise immediately.

It is possible for an EEA national to make an application to naturalise as a British citizen and retain their passport for travel whilst the application is being considered.

How we can help?

The requirements for an EEA Document Permanent Residence Card are highly prescriptive and the Home Office routinely refuse applications that do not fully comply with the EEA Regulations and guidance. Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers will assist in preparing and submitting your application to achieve the best possible outcome.

If you’d like to discuss matters further, please email our Immigration team on immigration@bishopandsewell.co.uk or complete the online enquiry form on this page.

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