A European residence permit offers access to all 27 EU member countries as well as Switzerland. The permits initially apply for one year and may be extended after that.
When issued in the UK, the EU Registration Certificate basically acts as the formal recognition of the right of free movement in the UK. Although there are no formal requirements for EU nationals to obtain a Registration Certificate, there are a number of circumstances where it may be beneficial. For example, it will serve as proof of your right to live and work in the UK, if asked for by employers. It may also be helpful if you are required to prove your right of residence in the UK, for example if you have non-EEA family members who require a family permit or residence permit.
Where an EU national’s dependents are non-EU nationals, the dependents must have a Family Permit or Residence Card to enter or remain in the UK.
The circumstances of whether an EU national can apply for a residence permit and when they are able to make the application is determined by how long they have been in the UK and whether they are an ‘Accession Country’ national or not.
An EU national has the right to have their non-EEA family members join them in the UK. These can include spouses, children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren aged under the age of 21. If over 21, evidence of the dependency on the EU national must be established. Their right for application can also relate to dependant parents, grandparents or great grandparents. Siblings may be admitted to the UK but on a discretionary basis only.
An EU national or their family member needs to spend a minimum of 5 years’ continuous residence in the UK in order to be eligible for Permanent Residence in the UK. An EEA residence permit is normally issued for a period of 5 years.