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Permanent Residency

You do not need to apply for a residence card to prove you can live in the UK unless you’re both:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • an extended family member of someone from the EEA or Switzerland

If you already have a residence card it will not be valid after 31 December 2020.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until 2021. You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK after June 2021. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

Speak to our assessment team now to confirm your eligibility and options for free on 0203 384 4389.

Further Information

Who should currently apply

You do not need to apply for a residence card as a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, but it can:

  • help you re-enter the country more quickly and easily if you travel abroad
  • show employers you’re allowed to work in the UK
  • help prove you qualify for certain benefits and services

You must apply for a residence card if you’re an extended family member.

You must apply for a derivative right of residence card if you’re the carer of an EEA citizen or UK national, the carer’s child, or the child of a former worker from the EEA and you’re currently in education.

How long it lasts for

A residence card usually lasts up to 5 years.

However, your residence card will not be valid after 31 December 2020. You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

If your residence card expires before March 2019, you can reapply for another residence card.

Eligibility

You can apply for a residence card if you’re both:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
  • the family member, or extended family member, of an EEA national who is a permanent resident or ‘qualified person’

You may also be eligible for a residence card if you have a ‘retained right of residence’ or make a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

Qualified persons

A qualified person is someone who is in the UK and one of the following applies:

  • they’re working
  • they’re self-employed
  • they’re self-sufficient
  • they’re studying
  • they’re looking for work (only if they meet certain conditions)

Family members of EEA citizens

You can apply as a direct family member if you’re related to the EEA national as:

  • their spouse or civil partner
  • their (or their spouse or civil partner’s) child or grandchild who is under 21 or a dependant
  • their (or their spouse or civil partner’s) dependent parent or grandparent

If the EEA national is a student, you can only qualify as their family member if you’re:

  • their spouse or civil partner
  • their (or their spouse or civil partner’s) dependent child

Other relatives of students must qualify as extended family members.

Extended family members

You can apply as an extended family member if you’re either:

  • the unmarried partner of the EEA national and you’re in a long-term relationship with them that’s similar to a marriage or civil partnership
  • a relative of the EEA national (or of their spouse or civil partner) but you do not qualify as their family member

Relatives include brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles, nephews or nieces and cousins. Relatives can also include grandchildren, parents and grandparents if the EEA national only has the right to reside as a student.

As well as being a relative of the EEA national, one of the following must be true:

  • before coming to the UK you were dependent on the EEA national, or were a member of the EEA national’s household, and you’re still dependent on them or are still a member of their household
  • you need the personal care of the EEA national (or of their spouse or civil partner) on serious health grounds

Extended family members must have a valid EEA permit or residence card to stay in the UK.

Your application is considered based on your individual circumstances and you may not be approved for a residence card even if you meet the conditions.

Retained rights of residence

You can also apply if you used to have a family member, or extended family member, who was a permanent resident or qualified person. This is called a ‘retained right of residence’. You may get this if, for example:

  • your marriage or civil partnership to an EEA citizen has ended (with a divorce, annulment or dissolution)
  • your EEA family member has died and you lived in the UK as their family member for at least one year before their death
  • you’re in education and you’re the child of an EEA citizen (or their current or former spouse or civil partner) who has left the UK or died
  • your child has a retained right of residence because they’re in education in the UK (and you have custody of them)

You’ll need to prove:

  • that your family member, or extended family member, was a permanent resident or qualified person at the time your family relationship ended
  • how the relationship ended, for example a death certificate or decree absolute if you divorced

You can only retain your right of residence as an extended family member if both the following apply:

  • you currently hold a valid residence card as the extended family member of an EEA national
  • 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.

‘Surinder Singh’ applications

You might be able to make a ‘Surinder Singh’ application if you lived in anotherEEA country with an eligible family member who’s a British citizen before returning to the UK.

Your British family member must be one of the following:

  • your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner
  • your parent or grandparent (or their spouse or civil partner) – you must also be under 21 years old or dependent on them
  • your child or grandchild (or their spouse or civil partner) – you must be dependent on them

Eligibility

To be eligible, your British family member must either have the right to permanent residence in the EEA country where you lived together, or provide proof that they were one of the following there:

  • working, self-employed or self-sufficient – for example employer’s letters, wage slips, contracts, bank statements or proof of tax registration
  • studying – for example proof of enrolment and attendance

They must also work, study, look for work, or be self-employed or self-sufficient in the UK.

Proof you’ll need to give

Both you and your British family member must prove that you genuinely made your home in the EEA country where you lived together. It must have been your main residence or base for the ‘centre of your life’.

You’ll need to prove that you both:

  • lived there together – for example your addresses, time spent living at each address and any proof of renting or buying a home
  • were integrated there – for example you spoke the language, had children born or living there, or were involved in your local community

You must also provide lists showing all your:

  • previous travel to and from the UK – include the dates you arrived and left
  • other UK visa or immigration applications – include whether you applied from inside or outside the UK, and details of each visa or permission to stay if you were successful
  • removals, deportations and other immigration penalties in the UK

After you apply, you might get a letter asking you or your British family member to give more information or go to an interview.

Your application will be refused if it looks like you only lived in another EEA country to get UK residence by making a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

Documents you must provide

For each person on the application you’ll need to provide:

  • a current passport
  • 2 passport size colour photographs
  • one passport size colour photograph of your European Economic Area (EEA) national (or British citizen) sponsor
  • your EEA family member’s valid passport or national identity card
  • evidence of your relationship to your EEA family member – such as a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, birth certificate, or proof that you’ve lived together for 2 years if you’re unmarried

You also need to provide proof of one of the following, depending on your eligibility:

  • that your EEA family member has a permanent right of residence
  • that your EEA family member is a ‘qualified person’
  • that you qualify because of a ‘retained right of residence’
  • that you qualify for a ‘Surinder Singh’ application

You’ll need to provide a certified translation of any documents that are not in English or Welsh.

You may need to provide additional documents depending on your circumstances.

Biometric information

You’ll be asked to provide your biometric information as part of your application.

You’ll need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
  • give your signature

Children

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for the child. If the responsible adult is not the parent or guardian, they must be named on the application form.

Children under 6 years old do not need to provide fingerprints but must have a digital photo taken of their face.

If you have a medical or physical condition

If you do not have any fingers or hands you’ll only need to have a digital photo taken of your face. It will be noted on your records that you’re physically unable to provide fingerprints.

If you or any dependants need any special arrangements to give your biometrics, include a letter from your doctor with your application. The letter must include the details of your condition and the special arrangements you need.

Permanent Residence Card

You can currently apply for a permanent residence card if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years.

However, you do not need a permanent residence card to confirm your residence status in the UK unless:

  • you’re an extended family member of someone from the European Economic Area or Switzerland and are yourself not an EEA or Swiss national
  • you want to apply for British citizenship
  • you want to sponsor your partner’s visa application under the Immigration Rules

Your residence card will not be valid after 31 December 2020.

You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ if you want to continue living in the UK after June 2021. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

Eligibility

You’re eligible if both of the following apply:

  • you’ve lived with your EEA family member in the UK for a continuous 5 year period
  • your EEA family member has been a ‘qualified person’ throughout the 5 years or has a permanent right of residence

You can also get permanent residence if you’ve lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years:

  • as the extended family member of an EEA national and you’ve held a valid EEA family permit and a residence card throughout
  • first as the family member of an EEA national and then with a retained right of residence
  • as the family member of a British citizen, if you entered the UK under the EU law after living in another EEA country (‘Surinder Singh’ route)

You can get permanent residence before 5 years if either:

  • you were living with your EEA national family member, who was working or self-employed in the UK, immediately before their death
  • your EEA national family member was working or self-employed in the UK but has ‘ceased activity’ (stopped work or self-employment because of retirement or permanent incapacity, or because they’re now working or self-employed in another EEA state but are still resident and return to the UK at least once a week)

Biometric information

You’ll be asked to provide your biometric information as part of your application.

You’ll need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
  • give your signature

Children

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for the child. If the responsible adult is not the parent or guardian, they must be named on the application form.

Children under 6 years old do not need to provide fingerprints but must have a digital photo taken of their face.

If you have a medical or physical condition

If you do not have any fingers or hands you’ll only need to have a digital photo taken of your face. It will be noted on your records that you’re physically unable to provide fingerprints.

If you or any dependants need any special arrangements to give your biometrics, include a letter from your doctor with your application. The letter must include the details of your condition and the special arrangements you need.

Biometric information

You’ll be asked to provide your biometric information as part of your application.

You’ll need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
  • give your signature

Children

Children under 16 must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or someone over 18 who has legal responsibility for the child. If the responsible adult is not the parent or guardian, they must be named on the application form.

Children under 6 years old do not need to provide fingerprints but must have a digital photo taken of their face.

If you have a medical or physical condition

If you do not have any fingers or hands you’ll only need to have a digital photo taken of your face. It will be noted on your records that you’re physically unable to provide fingerprints.

If you or any dependants need any special arrangements to give your biometrics, include a letter from your doctor with your application. The letter must include the details of your condition and the special arrangements you need.

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WHAT IS THE BENEFIT OF USING UK IMMIGRATION SOLICITORS?

Immigration rules are complex and subject to regular changes and revisions. This itself presents problems as it is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of and have complied with any changes to the routes, processes and evidence requirements. 

Failure to meet strict rules is likely to result in the application being refused which, in turn, is likely have an emotional and financial strain on you and your family. 

It is our job to ensure we are fully aware of the latest immigration rules, policies and procedures. We don’t leave matters to chance. Once you become a client of ours, we explain our strategy and tell you exactly how we propose to get you the right result. We will pinpoint the positives and negatives of your circumstances and explain where issues may arise and what would need to be done to fix them. We provide step by step guidance and advice throughout the entire process professionally. Our vast experience allows us to foresee problems before they arise and pro-actively adopt a strategic action plan.

Our legal fees are always agreed and fixed with you right at the beginning of your case, so you have complete peace of mind and control over the costs to ensure there are no restrictions or unpleasant surprises.

There are many online agencies, advisors and marketing companies who claim to be immigration experts but, provide very little expertise.

Let us be very clear here, if you are paying for someone just to fill in the forms for you, you should think about how you can put that money to better use and avoid gambling with your future by using inexperienced and ineffective companies.

We are a fully regulated nationwide, multi award winning law firm that specialises in immigration. Having more than 60 years of combined expertise and having handled more than 8,000 cases we have unrivalled experience and expertise to ensure you get the right result first time around – Don’t take our word for it though, check out our reviews to see why our clients trust us with their futures. We are rated 5* across the board and 98% of our clients have confirmed that they would recommend us to others. *

We have illustrated our typical scope of service below so you can understand what we do for you as paid of our service:

 

  • Our immigration specialists carry out a free detailed assessment with you to understand your circumstances and needs.
  • The collated information is then reviewed by a senior immigration solicitor who will have no less than 8 years’ immigration experience.
  • Based on the information collected, the senior solicitor will then confirm what your options are and will also confirm if we are able to help you.
  • We will offer you an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation for us to handle your entire case until initial conclusion without obligation. 
  • If we have officially taken your instructions, we will create a client file for you and collect detailed initial information.
  • We will then ensure you receive a personalised one-to-one legal consultation with a senior immigration solicitor who will take your full instructions by exploring your circumstances in detail and advise you on the best way to meet your objectives. The solicitor will explain the relevant legislations and provide you with advice on the steps that we would need to take to get a successful result.
  • The senior solicitor who carried out your legal consultation will then send you detailed written legal advice explaining everything that needs to be done and which documents will be required as part of the process. We will tell you about any problem areas and formulate a strategy to overcome/mitigate these. 
  • We will carefully review any documents that you have provided in support of the application. These documents are then validated and formatted to ensure that they meet the UKVI specified evidence requirements. Where they do not, we will explain what needs to be done to address the issues.
  • Where required, we will prepare any necessary written legal arguments or representations that are required to support your application and gain an approval. Often, we may be required to make discretionary submissions.
  • We will complete a draft application and share this with you to ensure that all parties are happy with the representations that will be submitted to the Home Office.
  • We advise you on what application processing routes are available. In some cases, there are fast track or premium processing routes available. We may be required to book a Home Office appointment on your behalf.  Will also be able to confirm typical processing times for any processing centre in the world. We explain all options, routes and fees comprehensively allowing you to make the best choice.
  • We lodge the application on your behalf using our secure authenticated processes. Whilst your application is pending, we continue to ensure you receive maximum legal protection and ensure that your rights and allowances are upheld throughout the processing stage. We ensure that you are aware of and remain compliant with the immigration rules and regulations during this period. We will also keep you updated on the progress of your matter.
  • If any follow up work is required in response to any queries raised by the UKVI, we will also deal with these as part of the comprehensive service.
  • We secure a decision on your matter and further advise you on the relevant implications of that decision. If required, we will also confirm if any secondary applications are required and brief you on the necessary process and procedure for those also.

WHY SHOULD I USE UK IMMIGRATION SOLICITORS TO HELP ME?

Here are just some of the reasons to choose us:

 * We are the UK’s #1 Immigration Specialist Law Firm

* We are a fully SRA regulated law firm so you are working directly with our in house legal team

* No agencies, middlemen or outsourcing

* We have achieved 99% success rate across all application types

* We have a 24 hour helpline that operates 7 days a week – 365 days a year

* We have multiple offices across the UK but 90% of our clients are not required to visit in person

* We have more than 60 years combined immigration expertise

* Our team have handled more than 8,000 cases

* We offer a free initial assessment which will explain your options and check your eligibility for your chosen route

* We operate a 100% Agreed Fixed Fee model with all fees fixed and agreed before work is started

* 98% of our clients would recommend us to family & friends

* Our average rating is 4.6/5 across major review platforms (based on over 300 reviews).

WHAT IS A FREE NEEDS ASSESSMENT?

If you have an immigration related problem or question, you can have a free assessment with a member of our assessments team.

The assessor will establish why you are calling and what you are looking for assistance with. The assessor will ask you a series of questions to determine your circumstances in relation to your objectives.

The assessment is 100% private and confidential. As we are a private law firm, we work with our clients to overturn Government decisions daily. We do not share any information with any third party.

Although the assessor will be a trained immigration specialist, they are not solicitors and therefore will not give you detailed legal advice or guidance.

If you want to establish what your options are and the best way forward for you, your assessor will collate the necessary information and then speak with one of the resident senior solicitors at the firm to determine what your options are, if and how we could assist and confirm whether we would be prepared to take your case. If we can assist, you will be provided with an Agreed Fixed Fee quotation which is a single legal fee to cover the firms cost of representation agreed from the outset and binding for all parties.

The free assessment is no obligation and you are merely given clarity on your position and options to move forward.

If you have a complex matter or require legal advice regarding a specific issue, you will most likely require a legal consultation.

This is a separate service and is chargeable at the prevailing rates.

Please note, UK Immigration Solicitors are a private law firm and are not part of the Government. We do not accept legal aid instructions. Although we are happy to assist genuine callers, we are not a directory service and sadly are unable to provide you with Government telephone numbers.

To get started you can either call us on 0203 384 4389 or complete the assessment form and one of the team will call you

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