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Apply for an EU residence card

Also known as a UK residence card, the EU residence card allows EU nationals, and partners and family members of EU nationals, to live and work in the UK for up to five years. After holding this card for five years you can apply for permanent residence, which will allow you to live in the UK practically without any restrictions.

The benefits

There are many benefits to holding an EU residence card. Apart from being able to live and work in the UK freely for five years, your card will help you:

  • Re-enter the UK quickly and easily if you travel abroad
  • Show employers you are allowed to work in the UK

Who can apply?

You can apply for an EU residence card if you’re an EU national, or are from outside the European Union (EU) and are related to an EU national in one of the following ways:

  • You are their direct family member
  • You are their extended family member
  • You are their partner

Who qualifies as a direct family member?

Direct family members are defined as:

  • Spouses or civil partners
  • Children or grandchildren (or a partner’s)
  • Dependent parents or grandparents (or a partner’s)


Who qualifies as an extended family member?

Extended family members are defined as:

  • Unmarried partners (in a lasting relationship)
  • Brothers or sisters
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Nephews or nieces
  • Cousins
  • Grandchildren

If you’re an extended family member, one of the following must also be true in order for you to apply for an EU residence card:

  1. Before coming to the UK, you must have been dependent on the EU national, or were a member of the EU national’s household, and you’re still dependent on them or a member of their household.
  2. You have serious health concerns that need the personal care of the EU national.

Do note: Your application for an EU residence card is considered based on your personal circumstances. You may not be approved even if you appear to meet all the criteria. It is therefore vitally important that your case is presented correctly and your application contains all the relevant documentation and motivations.



How to renew your EU residence card

You will need to reapply for your residence card before it expires. The same applies if the card is lost, stolen or damaged. You will also need to apply for a new residence card should the passport containing your old residence card expire.

Please note: If you don’t yet have a new card for your new passport, you’ll need to carry both your expired passport and your new passport when you travel.

What if UK immigration law changes?

Our UK immigration experts will let all our clients know which steps should be taken when needed. In the meantime, if you think you might be eligible for an EU residence card, you should apply for one now while you still can. Securing your rights today will put you in a much stronger position no matter what the future holds.

We have some exciting news
for all our visas clients...

1st Contact Visas is rebranding to Sable International!

For the last 18 months we've been slowly merging with our big brother, Sable International. Over the next year we're going to complete that merger. This will in no way affect your visa, ILR, citizenship, passport or work permit applications.

Your caseworker will not be going anywhere as the entire 1st Contact team will be in the same roles at Sable International. You'll still get that great 1st Contact Visas service, just under a new name.

We'll be keeping you in the loop as we prepare for the next exciting phase in this rebranding.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact us directly.

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