EEA Nationals

Applications for EEA and ​non-EEA family members to stay and work in the UK

EEA Permits

These permits are for nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who need to submit EEA Applications. Learn how you and members of your family (whether or not they are EEA or Swiss nationals themselves) can come to live and work in the UK.


EEA Applications

Consider your options for your PR and Family Members

EEA Permanent Residence

The basis of the EEA PR application is: if an EEA national has resided for a continuous period of 5 years in the UK as a qualified person, they have acquired permanent residence in the UK. A ‘qualified person’ means that such an individual is exercising Treaty rights. ‘Treaty rights’ cover the carrying out of economic activities of either a job seeker, a worker, self-employed person or a student, unless the person is completely financially self-sufficient. They can all be combined, or simply one of these types of treaty right can be exercised.


EEA Family Permit

The EEA Family Permit is a type of UK visa granted to family members of EEA nationals who are nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA). An EEA family permit can be considered if:

The EEA national Sponsor has been living or intends to live in the UK as a worker or as a self-employed individual, or as an economically self-sufficient person or student and his or her family member (spouse, partner, child or dependent parent) wishes to travel to the UK to join or accompany them.

The issuance of an EEA family permit is only for six months but the family member of an EEA national (non-EEA national) can then apply from within the UK for a residence card before the expiration date of the EEA family permit. In accordance with the Immigration EEA Regulations 2006, the residence card for a family member of an EEA national is issued for five years.

EEA Residence Card as Non-EEA Family Member of EEA National

As an EEA national living in the United Kingdom, the Immigration EEA Regulations 2006 automatically allow your family members who are themselves not EEA nationals the right to remain in the UK.
Family Members of an EEA National are:
• Spouse or civil partner, with the exception of individuals who are party to a marriage/civil partnership of convenience.
• Dependent children (that is all children under 21 years of age and any child over 21 who is still financially dependent) of the EEA national or of their spouse/civil partner (This also includes step-children or adopted children, as long as, the adoption is recognized in the UK.)
• Other dependents such as parents and grandparents of the EEA national or of their spouse/civil partner who are financially dependent
• Unmarried partners who have been in a durable relationship of 2 years or more, provided that they are not presently in the UK unlawfully

EEA - Frequently Asked Questions

Permanent Residency (PR) 

What is Permanent Residence?

Permanent Residence is a status enjoyed EEA Nationals and their family members who are no longer subject to immigration restrictions. After living in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years or more as an EEA national whilst exercising your rights under the EU Treaties to work, study or be self-supporting, you can apply for confirmation of your right to permanent residence in the UK.


A Permanent Residence (PR) card is a document provided to a migrant under European law rules and not UK Immigration rules. You should not confuse PR with Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) which is for people granted permission to stay under regular UK immigration rules. ILR has different requirements and conditions. Ensure you understand which set of rules apply to you. Also, if you are unsure about any aspect please contact us for advice.


What can Permanent Residents do?

Once you make your final EEA application for permanent residency and get approved, you are free from immigration control in the UK and are entitled to the same benefits as a British Citizen (except for the right to vote in UK national elections). After you have had your PR for 12 months and have obtained a PR card, you may be eligible to apply for British Citizenship in the UK. This will mean you can obtain a British Passport and also travel to many countries in the world without having to apply for a visitor visa. Find out if you qualify for an EEA Permit or other type of EEA Application today by contacting Pahl & Associates.

Do I Need to Apply for Permanent Residence?

EEA nationals and their family members (including non-EEA national family members) do not need to obtain documents confirming their right of residence in the UK. However, you may be inconvenienced if you do not obtain this confirmation, as:
• You may have difficulty proving that you are lawfully resident in the UK
• If you leave the UK, you will usually need to obtain an EEA Family Permit before returning here, in order to guarantee readmission as the family member of a qualified EEA national
• You may find it difficult to obtain or change employment as employers may not understand the immigration rules
• You will not be able to apply for British Citizenship until you have obtained a Permanent Residence card

Which EEA Application type applies to you?

The EEA Family Permit application is made to a UK Embassy or Consulate overseas for a UK visa for those who are non-EEA family members of an EEA national. An example of this would be an Indian national married to a French national. Under EU law the Indian national is able to come to the UK to visit or work by applying for an EEA Family Permit.
After the family member arrives in the UK then an EEA application is made to the Home Office in the UK for a residence card which is valid for 5 years.
After 5 years have passed and providing the EEA partner has continued to qualify through work, study or self-sufficiency then both they and the family member can apply for Permanent Residency.


Are there any special rules where the EEA national is a citizen of one of the 8 Accession Countries which joined the EU in May 2004?

You may be affected by special rules if you are a national of one of the following countries: Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia.  Work restrictions in the UK were not completely lifted for nationals of these countries until May 2010, which means that any time spent as a worker before that date will not count towards the 5 years qualifying period for permanent residence unless the work was registered with the UK Home Office for at least 12 months. (There are also special rules for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens who did not become completely free to work in the UK until 2012 and Croatian citizens still need permission to work)


How can I confirm my right of residence in the UK?

Up until the date when the UK actually leaves the EU, EEA citizens living in the UK are not required to apply for an official document confirming their status. Their national passport alone is enough. 
But if you have lived in the UK for less than five years and you are employed, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient, you and your family members can, if you wish, apply for a registration certificate as proof that you are residing here lawfully.
If you have completed a continuous period of five years in the UK as someone who is employed, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient you can apply for a document certifying permanent residence. Absences from the UK of up to six months per year do not break this continuous period. An absence of up to 12 months is allowed for important reasons such as pregnancy or childbirth, serious illness, study or an overseas posting.
The date on which you completed the five-year period doesn't matter as long as you have not been outside the UK for a period of more than two years after completing the five-year period.
Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for these documents – especially students and self- sufficient people who don’t have private health insurance. (Employees and self-employed people don’t need private health insurance to get a document). 

How can Pahl & Associates assist you?

EU citizens may be entitled to apply for Permanent Residence in the UK if they satisfy certain criteria. The requirements, however, are strict and complex.
With so much at stake for you and your future, it is important to seek legal advice early on the options open to you for your specific circumstances, to avoid delays and improve your chances of making a successful application for Permanent Residence.


We can assist and advise EU nationals and their family members on their options to remain in the United Kingdom as the Brexit negotiations unfold.


Do you need help with a permanent residence application?

Contact Pahl & Associates today!

Print Print | Sitemap
© Pahl & Associates