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Home » EEA Residence Card: Eligibility Criteria, Cost and 2 Steps to Apply

EEA Residence Card: Eligibility Criteria, Cost and 2 Steps to Apply

If you are looking forward to getting an EEA Residence Card, this article is the right one for you. Non-EEA nationals residing in the UK as family members of EEA nationals exercising treaty rights can apply for the card.

And if you are already in the United Kingdom, you can apply for a residence card. If you want to join your EEA national family member from outside the UK, you should apply for an EEA family permit.

Also, for family members of EEA or Swiss nationals, EEA Residence Card applications (form EEA (FM)) are currently optional. However, they can be useful in proving rights for work and qualifying for certain benefits and services in the UK.

Extended family members (form EEA(EFM)) of EEA or Swiss nationals, on the other hand, must apply for an EEA Residence Card.

Here’s all you need to know about the EEA Residence Card, its eligibility criteria, cost, and steps to apply.

About the EEA Residence Card

In addition to getting a UK residence permit, the EEA residency card is a multifunctional visa that can be used for a lot of purposes. They include:

  • to travel within the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • to gain access to the UK more quickly and with less bureaucracy from outside the country
  • to demonstrate that you are eligible to work in the United Kingdom
  • to gain access to certain perks and services more easily

If they are already in the UK, a non-EEA family member of an EEA person exercising Treaty rights in the UK may be entitled to apply for an EEA Residence Card.

They might have arrived in the UK on an EEA Family Permit or another type of visa. Even if the applicant’s visa has expired or if they are in the UK on a visitor’s visa, they can apply.

If you are a family member or extended family member of an EEA person, you can apply for an EEA Residence Card. Members of the family include:

Members of the family who can apply for the EEA Residence Card

EEA nationals’ spouses/civil partners, their (or their spouse’s or civil partners) children or grandchildren under the age of 21, and their (or their spouse’s or civil partner) dependent parents or grandparents.

People who are not married in a “durable” relationship with an EEA national or other relatives of an EEA national or their spouse/civil partner who meet a variety of other requirements are considered extended family members.

While the Regulations do not define “durable,” the Home Office uses its recommendations to determine if the relationship is “durable,” which must be demonstrated by at least two years of cohabitation.

There is no longer a right of appeal for extended family members after the EEA Regulations 2016 were implemented in February 2017.

An adjustment to the appeal rights was made by the EEA Regulations of 2016. The opportunity to appeal for EEA applicants will be limited under new laws if the Home Office determines that the marriage is one of convenience.

Non-EEA family members who want to appeal the decision must leave the UK and file an appeal from another country.

This process might be important for legitimate candidates whose applications were mistakenly denied, given that appeals can take up to 15 months to be considered.

Although having an EEA Card is not a legal necessity for an eligible non-EEA family member, it may be very beneficial for demonstrating their immigration status, especially when they have left the UK and are seeking to re-enter or prove their ability to work in the UK to employers.

An EEA Residence Card is valid for five years and allows the bearer to work in the United Kingdom.

Documents Required for the EEA Residence Card

The following papers are necessary to apply for an EEA resident card:

  • An EEA Residence Card application form that has been properly completed. For family members, use form EEA (FM). If you’re an extended family member, use form EEA (EFM)
  • .The applicant’s passport must be valid.
  • Two-color passport photos of the applicant were recently taken.
  • A color passport photo of the sponsor was recently taken. Either an EEA citizen or a British citizen.
  • Valid passport or national ID card for EEA citizens.
  • The cost of the application.

Below are documents approving the non-interaction EEA’s with the EEA’s nationals (sponsor) like;

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Civil partnership certificate.
  • Birth certificate.
  • For at least two years, evidence of a combined life with your EEA sponsor. For a non-matrimonial or civil partnership relationship.

Documents that confirm a sponsor’s or applicant’s residency status:

  • Proof that your EEA sponsor possesses a permanent residence permit in the UK.
  • Proof that your EEA sponsor is a qualified individual.
  • If applicable, proof that you have a retained right of residence.
  • You have proof that you are a “Surinder Singh” case. If it’s pertinent.

Listed below are documents confirming a common life and household between the British citizen and the non-EEA national in another EEA country. These documents are only required for ‘Surinder Singh’ applications:

  • Evidence of your residence in a foreign EEA country.
  • The lease agreement.
  • Contract of purchase.
  • Other official documents containing the address of the residence.

Eligibility Requirements for EEA Residence Card

The following are the requirements for the EEA Residence Card:

  • EU citizens must be able to exercise their rights under the EU Treaties.
  • You must show proof that you are a family member of an EU citizen.
  • Proof demonstrating you are a member of this EU citizen’s household and/or are this EU citizen’s dependant (extended family member)

The validity of the card is up to five years. The applicant can apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card after five years of residence in the UK.

How to Apply for an EEA Residence Card

Step 1: Submit your application: The EEA Residence Card application procedure includes submitting the application materials. Also, biometric information such as your digital image, fingerprints, and signature will be submitted.

You can also be included in the online application form of an eligible individual if you apply at the same time as them.

Step 2: Download and fill out the application form: You must download and complete the EEA Residence Card application form. This document will be sent to the Home Office through the postal service.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much does it cost to apply for the EEA Residence Card?

The charge for applying for an EEA Residence Card is 65£, while the fee for providing biometric information is around 19.20£ and must be done at one of the post offices.

You must be accompanied by your parent/guardian/officially responsible person during the application procedure if you are under the age of 16. If you’re under the age of six, you’ll simply have to submit a digital snapshot instead of your fingerprints.

How long is the EEA Residence Card Valid?

The EEA Residence Card allows you to stay for a maximum of 5 years. Following this period of continuous residence in the UK, you will be entitled to apply for a UK permanent residence card.

Regardless, your card will no longer be valid after December 31, 2020. This is because it will need to be replaced with settled or pre-settled status under the program, which will open in March 2019.

What is the relationship between Surinder Singh Route and the EEA Residence Card?

The Surinder Singh route is an EEA Residence Permit that permits UK residents who previously lived in an EEA nation to return to the UK and bring non-EEA family members with them.

Only British nationals who moved to another EEA country to improve or strengthen their family life are eligible for this option.

What Can I Do If My Application for an EEA Permanent Residence Card is Refused?

Both family members and extended family members have the right to appeal the denial of an EEA Residence Card / EEA Permanent Residence Card.

If your application is denied, you will need an attorney who will investigate the causes and advise you on the best way to correct the situation.

They will be options like resubmitting the application, appealing the judgment, or filing a Judicial Review challenge are all options.

What Documents Will I Need to Provide for EEA Permanent Residence Card Application?

The papers necessary for the EEA Permanent Residence Card are comprehensive. One of the key reasons for the high denial rate is the inability to collect the proper ones. You will be required to submit evidence of your continuing residency and activity during your 5-year stay in the UK.

As a result, working with an immigration lawyer to verify that your EU Permanent Residence Card application is filled out completely and that all relevant documents are included is strongly advised. You may save a lot of time, money, and worry by doing so.

Are divorced citizens qualified for the EEA Residence Card?

If you’re a former spouse/civil partner or their family member who is divorced or divorced an EEA citizen on or after April 20, 2006, you’re also eligible for an EEA PR Permit.


With an EEA Residence Card, you may go to the UK with the assurance that there will be no issues. You may also be eligible to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card and, finally, British Citizenship after five years

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