Residence card for family members of EEA nationals

If you are the family member of an EEA national who is exercising treaty rights in the UK you can apply for a residence card to prove your status.

If you are an “immediate” family member you should complete form EEA(FM) and supply evidence of your status. Note that the form is extremely long, but you can extract the parts that apply to your situation. Since the implementation of new regulations on 1 February 2017, the Home Office demands that all applicants use the “specified form” as it appears on their website. It is arguable that requiring the use of a particular form is contrary to EU law, but most applicants will probably want to use the Home Office form to avoid the risk of having their application returned to them.

Examples of documents required:

  • Your own current valid passport
  • Your EEA national family member’s passport or national ID card
  • Evidence that your family member is working, studying or self sufficient in the UK
  • If they are studying or self-sufficient, evidence of comprehensive sickness insurance
  • Evidence of residence in the UK such as recent utility or council tax bills

Application procedure

After you have posted your application to the Home Office, you will receive an invitation to provide biometric information at a local participating Post Office. There is a charge to do this.

After that you should receive your “Certificate of Application”. If you are an immediate family member (a spouse, child aged 21 or under, or dependent parent) then it will confirm that you have a right to work in the UK, and can be presented to employers as proof of that right. If you are an extended family member it will not refer to a right to work.

Under EU law the Home Office has up to 6 months to make a decision in your case.

Common problems

  • EEA national has left the family home
  • EEA national has died
  • Divorce proceedings have started
  • EEA national has stopped working or studying
  • Travel documents not available: for example you cannot get a new passport from your embassy

There are legal provisions to cover a number of situations like these: for example if you divorce from your EEA national spouse, you could be eligible to remain in the UK with a “retained right” in some circumstances.

If your family member has left the family home, or refuses to provide you with the documents you need, you can try to locate them and offer alternative evidence of their activities in the UK (for example, witness statements, electoral roll, phone book listings). The Home Office might not accept your evidence but you could still be successful at a Tribunal.

If you need advice about obtaining a Residence Card, or about what to do if your circumstances change, you can contact me through the website.