Form EEA (PR) is the document that can be used by European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their direct and extended family when applying for documented permanent residence in the UK.
If you are an EEA national and have been living in the UK exercising your Treaty rights for 5 continuous years, you will automatically acquire permanent residence status in Britain.
However, there are various compelling reasons to obtain documented evidence of your permanent residency in the UK. For example, if you would like to sponsor a non-EEA national family member or any extended family members, you will be unable to do so without a permanent residence card. If you would like to obtain British Citizenship in the future, as an EEA national, it is mandatory that you first hold documented permanent residence.
Under current proposals for post-Brexit immigration rules, permanent resident holders are expected to be permitted to transfer their status to the new ‘settled status’ with a ‘light touch’ process and at no cost.
Am I eligible for permanent residence?
If you are an EEA national and have been residing in the UK as a qualifying person for over five consecutive years, you might be eligible to apply for a permanent residence document.
If you are family or a former family member of an EEA national, or you are a family member of a British citizen employed in another Member State, you may also be eligible.
Family and extended family members of a qualifying EEA national (the sponsor) can apply at the same time, on the same EEA PR form.
Form EEA PR requires you to provide the following information and documentary evidence:
1. Proof of exercising your Treaty rights.
If you are a qualifying person, you must evidence through your application that during your 5 years in the UK you have been undertaking one or more of the prescribed qualifying activities:
- Self-sufficient; and/or
- Looking for work
You will need to submit evidence for each qualifying activity during the 5 year period.
2. Proof of relationship to your EEA national sponsor
If you are applying as a family member, you must show that
- That you have been living with your EEA national sponsor and are related to them by blood, marriage or are in a ‘durable’ relationship with them;
- That you have lived with them in the UK for a continuous period of five years;
- That you haven’t been out of the UK for more than 180 days per year within the qualifying period;
- That the qualifying person has been exercising Treaty rights for the entire five year period, or they have a permanent right of residence.
Non-EEA family members will also need to submit their biometric data.
3. Proof of residence
The evidence you supply should relate to the relevant continuous five year period on which you intend to rely. over two years ago, you need to prove that you have not spent two years or more outside the UK since that period.
Where you have spent more than years outside of the UK, this will invalidate your right, you will have to prove a subsequent five year period.
How to apply for permanent residency
You can apply either by using the EEA PR form online or by printing a hard copy of the form and posting it to the Home Office. The application form is quite extensive; however many of the sections are specific to your circumstances, and you may not need to complete them all. Section 3 of the form can help to guide you on which parts of the form are relevant to you.
The first few sections ask for your personal information including your biometric data (digital photograph and fingerprints) where applicable and details of your sponsor. You must ensure you include two passport sized photographs, and one of your sponsor, with your respective names written in full on the reverse of each photo.
Sections 6 through to 15 deal with the Treaty rights you are exercising; therefore you will only need to complete sections relevant to the circumstances of each included applicant. It is worthwhile to note that the relevant sections will also need to be filled out for each person on the application, so this may become quite confusing if there are a number of applicants on the same form.
The form then asks for details of any public funding or state benefits you are receiving and details of your personal history; including any criminal convictions, civil judgements and political or terrorist affiliations. You will then need to list the documents you are sending in support of the application, and complete the document checklist at the back of the form. Finally, both you and your sponsor will need to sign a declaration.
Ensure you complete the declaration at the end of the form correctly, as it is one of the most common causes of rejection by the Home Office.
It is imperative that you supply the Home Office with all the relevant documentation to support your application.
As an EEA national, you will need to provide proof of exercising your treaty rights for the five year period. This can include evidence of employment & self-employment, such as wage slips and contracts of employment (alongside an employers’ declaration) or invoices and proof of registration with the HMRC if you are self-employed. If you are a student or applying as a self-sufficient person, you will also need to provide evidence of income and comprehensive sickness insurance. If you are relying on a European Health Insurance Card, you will also need to submit a Statement of Intent.
If you were living in the UK undertaking more than one qualifying activity within the relevant five year period, you must provide evidence for each.
Where you are family or extended family of a qualified person, you will need to submit all of the above information for the qualified person on whom you are relying, alongside evidence of your dependence on them. This can be documents such as marriage certificates, proof of relation to them and proof of living with them, such as a utility bill, mortgage or tenancy agreement. Biometric data will also be required for non-EEA applicants.
If any elements of the form are incomplete, or any supporting evidence is not supplied, the Home Office will reject your application as invalid, and you will have to reapply at an additional cost.
How long does the application process take?
On average it takes six months for the application to be processed; however, it may take longer depending on your individual circumstances. This is why it is crucial to ensure you complete the form accurately and provide all the necessary evidence required to process your application. Further delays can result in months of postponement and can be frustrating and emotional for all involved.
How much does the application cost?
It costs £65 per person applying.
If you are including family members on a single application, it will cost £65 per person included on the form.
If your application is returned due to insufficient information or documents, this will incur an additional £25 administration fee that is taken from your application fee.