• United Kingdom

    Helpline No.

    (+44) 0203 4882 308

Residance Card Applications

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 case 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' - i.e., engaged in either:

  • Work
  • Looking for work
  • Self-employment
  • Self-sufficiency; or
  • Study
while in the UK.
Those with retained right of residence or making Surinder Singh application may also apply.

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 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.

How long does a residence card last?

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.

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 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.

Further information, help, and advice

Our team of specialists have years of experience in visa services. We work with clients under Section 84 of the 1999 Immigration Act and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or email us at

WorldWide Immigration
WorldWide Immigration