Extended family members of EEA nationals are required to hold a UK residence card to prove their immigration status.
A UK residence card is not however a mandatory requirement for direct family members of EEA nationals or Swiss nationals, however, it can help to evidence to employers that you have permission work in the UK, prove you qualify for certain benefits and services and help to speed up the process at the border of gaining entry back into the UK.
Applications are assessed on a cases by case basis against the eligibility criteria and your personal circumstances. There are no guarantees that meeting the eligibility requirements will secure you a UK residence card.
Are you eligible for the UK residence card?
To be eligible for a UK residence card, you need to be a national of a country outside the EEA and be related to an EEA national who holds UK permanent residence or is a ‘qualified person’ – ie, engaged in either:
- looking for work
- self employment
- self sufficiency or
while in the UK.
Who qualifies as a family member?
A ‘relation’ can be a direct or extended family member.
Direct family members
Direct family members include spouses and civil partners of EEA nationals. It also includes dependent children, grandchildren, parents and grandparents of the EEA national or their spouse and civil partner.
Children must be dependent and under 21.
For EEA students, direct family members are limited to spouses, civil partners and dependent children.
Extended family members
Extended family members must have a valid EEA permit or residence card to be in the UK.
To qualify as an extended family member for the UK residence card, you must be:
- The unmarried partner of, and in a qualifying lasting relationship with, an EEA national
- A relative of the EEA national (or of their spouse or civil partner) that does not otherwise qualify as a direct family member, such as siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews.
- A relative of an EEA national studying in the UK.
In addition, one of the following must apply:
- You are dependent on the EEA national or are a member of their household, and prior to coming to the UK you were dependent on the EEA national or a member of their household; or
- Due to medical reasons you rely on the care of the EEA national, their spouse or civil partner.
Applying under retained rights of residence
It may also be possible to apply for a UK residence card on the basis of a previous personal or family relationship with a UK permanent resident or qualified person.
This applies if:
- Following the death of an EEA national relative, and you lived in the UK as their family member for at least one year before their death.
- You are divorced from an EEA national, or where there has been an annulment or dissolution.
- You are the child or an EEA national or their current or former spouse or civil partner who has died or left the UK, and you are in education.
- Your child qualifies for retained right of residence because they’re in education in the UK.
You must hold a valid residence card as the extended family member of an EEA national and you meet all of the relevant conditions.
You cannot retain your right of residence if you were the unmarried partner of the EEA national and that relationship has broken down.
UK residence cards are generally issued for a period of up to 5 years, but will become invalid after 31 December 2020.
After this date, EU citizens and their family members are to have applied for settled status. once the scheme opens in March 2019.
What if your UK residence card is due to expire?
If your card is due to expire before the settlement scheme opens up in March 2019, you should apply for a new card.
How much does a UK residence card cost?
A card costs £65 per person, plus £19.20 to submit your biometric information.
Can I work with a UK residence card?
Yes, it is possible to work and live in the UK with a residence card.
What is the EEA Family Permit?
The EEA Family Permit applies to non-EEA family members or ‘extended’ family members of an EEA national. They are applied for from outside the UK and allow a stay in the UK for up to six months.
What is derivative right of residence?
You would apply for a derivative right of residence card if you are one of the following:
- Carer of a UK or EEA national
- Carer’s child
- Child of an EEA former worker and currently in education
You must apply for a derivative right of residence card
Do you have a question about the UK residence card? DavidsonMorris can help!
DavidsonMorris are experienced in all aspects of Home Office EEA applications, including UK residence card applications. If you have any queries or require guidance, contact our immigration specialists.