EEA nationals and their family members have the right to reside in the UK and to work or enter into business here to exercise Treaty rights in accordance with EU law.
Following the Referendum on leaving the EU, EEA nationals and their family members living in the UK will be understandably worried about their ability to remain living and working here.
The future rights of EEA nationals and their family members will form part of the negotiations on terms of the UK leaving the EU, a process which is likely to take around two years from when Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union was triggered on 29 March 2017. Article 50 was triggered via a letter from Theresa May in which she calls to ‘strike an early agreement about citizen’s rights’ both for EEA nationals living in the UK and for UK nationals living in Europe.
For now, their rights remain the same. Under EU law EEA nationals are entitled to reside in the UK providing they are exercising Treaty rights and to have their family members with them.
Whilst there is no current requirement in EU law for EEA nationals or their family members to obtain Registration Certificates or Residence Cards, it is our advice that they now consider doing so to have evidence of their rights of residence and seek advice if required to ensure that their rights are protected.
EEA nationals can apply for a Registration Certificate to confirm their right of residence. If they have lived in the UK and exercised Treaty rights for 5 years or more, then they can apply for Permanent Residence. Applications can be made online or using the required paper form.
Non-EEA family members can apply for a Residence Card to confirm their right of residence if their EEA relative is exercising Treaty rights. If they have lived in the UK, and their EEA relative has exercised Treaty rights for 5 years or more, then they can apply for Permanent Residence. Applications must be made using the required paper form.
With an application, evidence must be provided to demonstrate that the relevant EEA national is exercising Treaty rights in the UK. The Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2017 make many of these supporting documents compulsory. It is very important to ensure that the correct evidence is provided to ensure that an application has the best chance of success.
Read our latest blog post New Immigration Regulations for EEA Nationals
The cost is £65 per person and the process takes up to 6 months.
For advice on the implications of the UK leaving the EU, please visit our Brexit page.
Our specialist team in Newcastle upon Tyne and South Shields can advise on obtaining and establishing EEA rights. We can help with initial applications and applications for extended and permanent residence.
We can also represent clients at appeals if an application is refused.