The EEA registration certificate provides proof of residence for qualifying EEA nationals exercising their Treaty rights to live, work or study in the Britain.
A registration certificate can be a useful document if you do not yet satisfy the 5-year requirement for permanent residency. While there is no legal requirement to obtain an EEA registration certificate under existing EU law, by confirming your right of residence in the UK, it can be easier to prove to employers that you have a right to work in the UK and make it easier to re-enter the UK after any trips abroad.
When you become eligible to apply for a permanent residence card, the registration certificate is helpful in evidencing as part of your permanent residence card application that you have undertaken the required qualifying activities.
Who is eligible for an EEA registration certificate?
You must either be:
- An EEA national exercising Treaty rights as a qualified person. A qualified person is either a worker, self-employed, self sufficient, an active job seeker or a student.
- An EEA national who is a family member of a relevant EEA national i.e. an individual who already holds a registration certificate or has permanent residence status in the UK.
How to apply
EEA national ‘qualified persons’
To apply as an EEA national qualified person you will need the EEA QP form. This form can be filled out online, in paper form or in person at any premium service centre. If applying at a premium service centre, you will need to take your completed form, all supporting documentation and your fee of £65 with you to the centre. You may not add any family members on to this application form, they will need to fill out one of the forms below.
You will be required to prove what you have been doing in the UK to be registered as a qualified person. If in employment this will be either by wage slips, P60s or contract of employment. You will need to show your income and provide bank statements and any HMRC documents. If self employed, you will need to provide your accounts, etc. Students will need to provide proof of enrolment with a letter from the college or university stating their attendance. If you are self sufficient, you will need to provide evidence of the monies you have with bank statements, any money transfers or additional income.
It is essential to provide a valid passport or national identity card that is current. Since the list of documents required is extensive, it is advisable to seek legal advice on which documents you will need to prove your residency status.
EEA family members of qualifying EEA nationals
EEA nationals applying as a family member of a relevant EEA national will need to apply online or in paper form using form EEA FM.
A family member is a spouse, civil partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent of the qualifying EEA national. You may add additional qualifying family members onto this form.
As a family member, you will be required to give evidence of your relationship with the qualifying EEA national. This may be through marriage certificate, birth/adoption certificate or a civil partnership schedule.
You will also need to provide a valid passport, national identity card or travel document for each applicant. Each applicant will need to pay the £65 fee.
Your sponsor will be required to provide evidence of their income and you will both be required to provide evidence of living together. This could be through utility bill, bank statements or official letters addressed to both of you at the same address.
EEA extended family members of qualifying EEA nationals
If you are an extended member of the family of the qualifying EEA national, such as a sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle or ‘durable partner’ eg an unmarried but cohabiting partner, then you will need to fill out form EEA EFM either online or in paper form. Only one applicant is permitted per EEA EFM form and the fee is £65.
As with the EEA FM form, your sponsor will be required to supply details of their income. You will also need to provide evidence that you are living together. Proof of your relationship to the EEA national is also required, birth/adoption certificates, or evidence of cohabitation such as utility bills that are addressed to you, photographs of family gatherings/holidays or bank statements.
The online facility cannot be used for applications made as a student, self-sufficient applicant, if you are reliant on family members for financial support or if you are supporting family members on your income. These will need to be filed in paper form.
Online applications will skip irrelevant sections and only ask you the questions relevant to you based on the information you provide. Your supporting documents will need to be in order when filling in your online application. Once completed, you will need to print off and send it with all supporting documents to the Home Office.
Supporting documents must be in their original format. For circumstances beyond your control, exceptions may be made, but you will need approval for this.
You will need to provide the correct fee of £65 per applicant when submitting your application, failure to do so will result in your application being rejected.
For each applicant, you need to include 2 passport-sized photographs with their name written on the back of each. If you have a sponsor, they will need to include 1 passport sized photograph, named on the reverse.
A valid passport or national identity card is required for all applications.
These application forms are extremely lengthy and the supporting documentation required is substantial. Mistakes can cause delays, and as the process can take up to 6 months at best, it is highly recommended to seek legal advice to ensure you get it right first time.
Common pitfalls with applying for an EEA registration certificate
Any incorrect or inaccurate information on your application form will lead to an instant rejection. Your fee of £65 will be returned minus a £25 administration fee. You will then need to wait for all your documents to be returned to you, correct the errors and return the form.
Likewise, any missing supporting documentation may lead to a delayed decision or even instant rejection and cost you the fee.
Fees need to have cleared before the Home Office will begin to process your application, so it is important to ensure you have the necessary funds in your relevant account. It is also important to ensure you have calculated the correct amount payable if more than one person is applying on the form. It is £65 per person.
Your passport or national identity card must be valid or it won’t be considered as evidence.
Finally, double check you have signed the form. Your application will not be accepted by the Home Office if your form is unsigned.
DavidsonMorris can help with applying for an EEA registration certificate
DavidsonMorris are experts in all aspects of UK immigration, including providing support and guidance to EEA nationals on their rights to enter and remain in the UK.
Under current proposals for UK immigration rules for post-Brexit all EU citizens and their family members will be required to apply for ‘settled status’.
The change over to the new Settled Status is intended to be complete by 1 July 2021, by which point all EU citizens wishing to take residence in the UK will need to have secured the new status.
Applications for Settled Status are expected to be expedited if you hold a current UK registration certificate.
If you are concerned about your current or future status in the UK, contact us for advice.