EEA Permanent Residence (EEA PR) Overview

Permanent Residence (PR) is confirming your rights to live in the UK as a settled person indefinitely, free from immigration restrictions.

  • You and/or your family member are from these countries:
    • All European Union (EU) countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain & Sweden
    • Other European Economic Area (EEA) countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein & Norway
    • Switzerland
  • You and/or your family member may apply under the EEA Regulations as
    • EEA or Swiss national and dependents relying upon the rights of:
      • An EEA or Swiss national who has resided in the UK in accordance with EEA Regulations for 5 years continuously exercising EU Treaty rights
      • An EEA or Swiss national formal worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity in the UK because you have retired, are permanently incapacitated, or you are now working or self- employed in another EEA state or Switzerland but still maintain your residence in the UK
  • Non-EEA or Swiss family members and dependents as a non-EEA or Swiss family member who has resided in the UK with the EEA or Swiss national in accordance with EEA Regulations for 5 years continuously exercising EU Treaty rights
  • A former family member of an EEA or Swiss national if you have retained your right of residence after the EEA or Swiss national died or left the UK, or your marriage or civil partnership ended in divorce, annulment or dissolution.
  • A family member of a British citizen who worked or was self-employed in another EEA state or Switzerland before returning to the UK (‘Surinder Singh’ cases)
  • The family member or extended family member of an EEA or Swiss national who has ceased activity
  • The family member or extended family member of an EEA or Swiss national former worker or self-employed person who has died.

What counts as the 5 years of continuous period under EEA Regulations?

  • May be a historic or recent period
  • You have been exercising EU Treaty rights throughout this period as a qualified person
  • There should be no more than 6 months’ continuous absence in each of the 5 years (unless there are serious medical reasons, work travel, pregnancy, military service or others)

The EEA or Swiss nationals acquire the right to permanent residence for themselves or their family members after living in the UK for 5 years continuously as a “qualified person”.

Who is a “qualified person” under EEA Regulations?

In accordance to regulation 6 of the free movement regulation, you need to be an EEA or Swiss national who is living in the UK as one of the following for a continuous period of 5 years (historic or recent):

  • A job seeker: a person who enters the UK to seek employment and can provide evidence of seeking employment
  • A worker: a person who is in employment, either full or part time
  • A self- employed person: a person who runs their business for themselves and generate an income in a self- employed capacity
  • A self- sufficient person: a person who has sufficient resources not to become a burden on the UK, and who has a comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) cover in the UK
  • A student: a person who is enrolled in a course of study at a private or public establishment and who has a comprehensive sickness insurance (CSI) cover in the UK

* Obtaining permanent residency is a necessary condition to apply for British citizenship.

A Permanent Residence Card will be issued in successful applications. In accordance to EEA Regulations, the right of permanent residence is lost through absence from the United Kingdom for a period exceeding two years continuously.

Update Since the Brexit referendum

The EEA Permanent Residence Card has been our most popular application. Fortunately, we have also maintained a 100% success rate in all our EEA(PR) applications.

Examples of our successful clients’ cases:

– Permanent Residence Card granted in 2 months: A Dutch client who has spent over 20 years in the UK as working in multinational firms as a qualified Chartered Accountant and as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in various tech start-ups. We presented his historic 5 years’ continuous period including a combination of employment and self-employment.

– Permanent Residence Card granted in 3 months: An Italian client had accumulated nearly 10 years of UK residence, however he had approximately 6 months’ gap in his latest year due to business travels in Spain. We managed to persuade the Home Office with strong legal arguments and court precedents.

– A Thai client who resided in the UK for 5 years under the EEA Residence Card, as the spouse of her French national husband. Her Sponsor (the French husband) worked as an employed and self-employed person throughout the 5 years’ continuous period, however he had several months of inactivity as a jobseeker.  The Permanent Residence Card was granted due to comprehensive documentation showing that he never stopped exercising EU Treaty Rights despite the temporary gaps.

Home Office Fee:

The current Home Office fee for application is £65 per person.

Link to the Home Office website a-uk- residence-card/permanent- residence-card

Link to the EEA PR application form

Whilst the Home Office published processing time is 6 months, we find that a well-presented case enables the Home Office to make a decision much quicker.  We look forward to securing your rights to stay in the UK amidst the Brexit uncertainties. Speak to us about our ‘Friends and Family Package’ for a special rate when applying as a couple or group.


What do our users say

Thank you very much for your contribution and good job you have done for me and my family. Today, I feel that thanking you is not enough. You will remain in our hearts and we will always have this deepest and sincere regard for you, as you have always shown your kindness and your work have been appreciated by the whole family.

Long Residence Settlement (10 years) client – Mauritian

Qiyin is an extremely diligent and thorough immigration lawyer. She took the time to fully understand my case and application for the highly skilled migrant program. She was very careful to consider both the short and longer term issues related to my application and provided very balanced and frank advice. My highly skilled migrant visa was successfully renewed thanks to her advice and help. I highly recommend her.

Tier 1 (General) visa client – Singaporean

I would like to thank you for all the hard work you’ve done for us in the past few years! I am now finished with the whole process and had my UK Citizenship ceremony. We couldn’t have gotten this far without you!

Entry Clearance Settlement (Spouse) visa client – Canadian

Thank you for all your help. I got the visa this morning and look forward to going on holiday. See you again in 30 months for the next visa.

PEO same-day service (Spouse leave to remain) client – Thai

We are so glad that our friend recommended you to help with our ILR application and we have no doubt it may have been a different story if we were applying without your support! We appreciate your professional approach and knowledge on immigration matters and wish your business well in the future (we are sure you will be very successful). Have no doubt we will be using your services for our application for Citizenship.

Indefinite Leave to Remain (Spouse) client – Russian

The QC Immigration team has proved an absolute star on the immigration front and my son’s fiancée is now happily settled, thank you again.

Partner (Fiancée) Settlement Visa – Brazilian

Many thanks for all your work on our application, especially since I contacted you on short notice! I contacted you on Sept 22nd and we signed up with you on/around Sept 27th! So we pulled this all together a little over 3 weeks.

Premium Service (Fiancée) Partner visa client – American

You have exceeded our expectations by saving us so much time and money when organising this! Thank you for also co-operating with our investment manager and accountant to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Tier 1 Investor (Super Premium Service) client – Chinese

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client - Dutch

EEA Permanent Residence client – Belgian

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

My family and I were very emotional receiving the good news today. Thank you for all your help and we will definitely recommend you to our European friends who are planning ahead after Brexit!

Naturalisation (British Citizenship) client – Dutch

Need more information?

Learn more about how we work and support you through the UK Immigration Application Process.

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