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Registration Certificates and Residence Cards

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 12 Aug 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
European Uk Family Registration

Registration Certificates

Nationals of countries in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland may be able to obtain a Registration Certificate. A Registration Certificate may be used as proof that they are entitled to live in another European country, including the UK, under European law. There is generally no requirement for European nationals to obtain a Registration Certificate before living or working in the United Kingdom. However, there may be circumstances in which having the Certificate may be useful to prove an immigrant’s status.

To qualify for a Registration Certificate an applicant must be exercising their EU Treaty rights to live in the UK – this will generally mean that they are working or studying in the UK or otherwise that they are financially self-sufficient.

Applying for a Registration Certificate

An application for a Registration Certificate is made using form EEA1, which is available to download from the UK Border Agency website. This form may also be used by the European or Swiss family members of the main applicant if they also wish to obtain a Registration Certificate.

Various documents must be submitted together with the application form:

  • The original passport or identity card of the applicant or applicants.
  • Documents which prove that the applicant is living in the UK under EU legal rights. These may be documents that prove that the applicant is employed, self-employed or studying in the UK.
  • Marriage or civil partnership certificates or birth certificates to prove the family relationship between all applicants. Other documents may be supplied by those who are in a long-term relationship to prove that they live together – such as joint utility bills, bank account statements or tenancy agreements.
  • Two passport photographs for each individual applicant who is included on the same form.

Special Rules for Nationals of Some European Countries

The nationals of some countries - including Poland, Estonia and the Czech Republic - may not be eligible for a Registration Certificate until they have been employed in the UK for a continuous period of 12 months. Nationals of Bulgaria and Romania are governed by separate rules and must obtain permission from the UK immigration authorities before coming to the UK to take up employment. Permission may not be required for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals who either do not wish to work in the UK or who are self-employed.

The nationals of countries to whom special rules apply may wish to obtain a Registration Certificate once they have satisfied those requirements. The Registration Certificate can then be used to prove that there are no longer any restrictions on their entitlement to work in the UK. A full list of the countries to which these restrictions apply is available from the UK Border Agency.

Residence Cards

Residence Cards are similar to Registration Certificates, in that they are also used to provide proof of an entitlement to live in the UK under EU law. However, they apply to non-European family members of EEA or Swiss nationals. Residence Cards generally remain valid for five years.

Residence Cards may not be issued to the family members of nationals of the European countries to which additional requirements apply until those requirements have been satisfied. However, their family members may be able to obtain a family member residence stamp to show their entitlement to live in the UK under European Law. This will apply to the non-European family members of Bulgarian or Romanian nationals or to those who are required to complete 12 months’ employment in the UK before qualifying for a Registration Certificate.

Applying for a Residence Card

An application for a Residence Card is made using form EEA2. Similar documents must be supplied to those which are required for Registration Certificate applications. These will include original passports, documents which provide proof of family relationships and photographs of each individual applicant.

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[Add a Comment]
Hello,I'm a Romanian citizen living and working here since 2005 and I was told I need to get this certificate in order to be able to buy a house with my British partner.what do I have to do and how long does it take to get one??? Many thanks
Dreea - 12-Aug-17 @ 2:18 PM
Hi, I am Hungarian Citizen working and paying tax since March,2017. I applied for qualified person in may, fee, its more then 2 month I didnt got any revert or certificate. Till when I can get certificate.? is there any contact no or email id for getting update ?
kerol - 1-Aug-17 @ 2:17 PM
@May - your son doesn't need a 'registration' document to travel. UK is still an member of the European Union. He'll just need a passport.
Hal - 24-Jul-17 @ 1:42 PM
Hi, I am a Dutch national living in UK and have a registration certificate. I have a son who has just got his dutch passport. Do we need to apply for registration certificate for him or is not necessary to travel?
May - 22-Jul-17 @ 11:15 AM
Alex - Your Question:
Hi, I am italian and Venezuelan citizen, I came with my family two months ago to live in the UK, my wife has Venezuelan Passport so she entered with a eea family permit, I understand she needs a residence card to stay legally. I have started to work three weeks ago in 6 month contract, can I apply for her residence card? Do I need to get first a registration certificate before applying for her residence card?

Our Response:
You can see more regarding eligibility via the gov.uk link here .
AboutImmigration - 14-Jul-17 @ 11:13 AM
Hi, I am italian and Venezuelan citizen, I came with my family two months ago to live in the UK, my wife has Venezuelan Passport so she entered with a eea family permit, I understand she needs a residence card to stay legally. I have started to work three weeks ago in 6 month contract, can I apply for her residence card? Do I need to get first a registration certificate before applying for her residence card?
Alex - 13-Jul-17 @ 3:15 PM
Hi!I'm polish I live in the UK for six yearsI'll be toldI cannot apply for the Resident permitbecause I have a gap between jobs . My question is Can I apply for the registration certificate?What's the difference .
Aga - 3-Jul-17 @ 7:10 PM
Cleva Tereva - Your Question:
I have been with my fiance' for 5 years & intend marrying this year. She is a foreign national from Venezuela & has lived & worked in the uk for over 15yrs. Will she become a british citizen when we marry?

Our Response:
Your fiance should be able to apply for British citizenship if she has been in the UK for 15 years and has ILR, please see link here . She will not become a British citizen purely on the basis of marriage.
AboutImmigration - 27-Jun-17 @ 2:00 PM
I have been with my fiance' for 5 years & intend marrying this year. She is a foreign national from Venezuela & has lived & worked in the uk for over 15yrs. Will she become a british citizen when we marry?
Cleva Tereva - 26-Jun-17 @ 6:19 PM
Mariam - Your Question:
Hi. I am from Romania, I have permanent residence and I would like to add my brother on. Is it possible or is there any other certificate to apply for? He is living and working in UK since 3.5 years. Thank you. Have a good day!

Our Response:
I'm afraid your brother would have to wait to apply for permanent residence himself once he has lived in the UK for five years.
AboutImmigration - 23-Jun-17 @ 2:02 PM
Hi. I am from Romania, I have permanent residence and I would like to add my brother on. Is it possible or is there any other certificate to apply for? He is living and working in UK since 3.5 years. Thank you. Have a good day!
Mariam - 21-Jun-17 @ 11:24 AM
Hiya, My parents are Portuguese and pensioners in the UK and they never worked in the UK, what type of residence they should apply?
Kabunga86 - 17-Jun-17 @ 3:17 PM
Uyire- Your Question:
Hi am a Nigerian married to a British citizen we have 3 boy all with British passport am in the UK with a visitors visa can I apply for a residency

Our Response:
You cannot apply for residency if you are currently on a visitor's visa, or based on the fact the rest of your family have British citizenship. Once your visitor visa ends you would have to return to your home country and apply for a visa to live in the UK, please see link here. Both you and your spouse would have to fulfil the eligibility requirements in order to be able to apply. Once you are successful you would be able to apply to extend the visa and then apply for ILR, before applying for British citizenship.
AboutImmigration - 16-Jun-17 @ 12:03 PM
Hi am a Nigerian married to a British citizen we have 3 boy all with British passport am in the UK with a visitors visa can I apply for a residency
Uyire - 16-Jun-17 @ 12:06 AM
hi, i'm a mexican married to an italian. we have lived in spain for 9 years but now we are moving to uk (he found a job there) in spain i am entitled to work (i have a close family member residence/work permit) but should i need to process a rgistration certificate to allow me to work in the uk? or what type of permit do i need? thank you!
guada - 29-May-17 @ 3:06 PM
Hi! I'm Italian and applied for my registration certificate a month ago. How long does it take to hear back from the Home Office? It is my first time sending my passport somewhere and I'm a bit nervous I haven't got an email saying that they received my application. Thank you!
VM - 28-May-17 @ 12:58 AM
Those accession countries are allowed to apply for the residence card because what this information fails to provide is that those 8 countries were accession countries. That rule about 12 months of work has been scraped as part is the WRS SCHEME in 2011. These 8 countries can apply like any other eu country.
Jco - 24-May-17 @ 12:12 AM
Anna - Your Question:
Hello,I am from Bulgaria and have been living here for 3 years in Scotland with my family.Do we need these Rigistation Sertificates? Will we need them whe the UK has left EU as a proof for right to stay in the country?Regards,Anna

Our Response:
Please see article: Brexit Impact - EU Residents in the UK, link here and gov.uk link here which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 23-May-17 @ 11:26 AM
Hello,I am from Bulgaria and have been living here for 3 years in Scotland with my family.Do we need these Rigistation Sertificates? Will we need them whe the UK has left EU as a proof for right to stay in the country?Regards,Anna
Anna - 22-May-17 @ 12:55 PM
Steve - Your Question:
I am a British citizen and my wife is polish. She would like to become a British citizen. We have been married for 2.5 years. She has been in the U.K. and working full time for 12 years. I am 63 and she is 52. I am self sufficient and I am currently applying for Polish citizenship. How easy is it for her to apply.? Regards Steve.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will give you more information.
AboutImmigration - 15-May-17 @ 2:54 PM
I am a British citizen and my wife is polish. She would like to become a British citizen. We have been married for 2.5 years. She has been in the U.K. and working full time for 12 years. I am 63 and she is 52. I amself sufficient and I am currently applying for Polish citizenship. How easy is it for her to apply.? Regards Steve.
Steve - 15-May-17 @ 11:28 AM
Sofiyan - Your Question:
Hi I'm Italian and I'm arrived in the UK 5 dicembre 2016 I need to know please if I need to apply for a registration certificate thank you

Our Response:
You don’t need to do anything as a result of Article 50 being triggered. There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU. Therefore, it is entirely up to you if you wish to apply, please see link here and here.
AboutImmigration - 12-May-17 @ 12:37 PM
Hi I'm Italian and i'm arrived in the UK 5 dicembre 2016 i need to know please if I need to apply for a registration certificate thank you
Sofiyan - 11-May-17 @ 10:03 PM
none - Your Question:
I have completed the online application form for Permanent residency - I am a Slovakian citizen. However on completing the online form- I gave the details of my Passport.I am travelling in June, 2017 abroad, and would prefer to use my Passport rather than my ID card, I have asked the information line if they would accept this instead of the passport, which is acceptable, however they cannot say if I send the original ID card, would this be acceptable, as the details I put on the online form contain my passport details. I have 10 days from last Saturday (6th May), to send my original documents, photo's etc etc. Can you advise- thank you.

Our Response:
I'm afraid we have no knowledge of the Home Office administrative procedures, so we cannot help with your question.
AboutImmigration - 10-May-17 @ 10:18 AM
I have completed the online application form for Permanent residency - I am a Slovakian citizen. However on completing the online form- I gave the details of my Passport. I am travelling in June, 2017 abroad, and would prefer to use my Passport rather than my ID card, I have asked the information line if they would accept this instead of the passport, which is acceptable, however they cannot say if I send the original ID card, would this be acceptable, as the details I put on the online form contain my passport details. I have 10 days from last Saturday (6th May), to send my original documents, photo's etc etc. Can you advise- thank you.
none - 9-May-17 @ 1:12 PM
Gala - Your Question:
Hi.I am Bulgarian and I have been living in England for 7 years now.I work as an employee and my husband is self-emploed.Me and my family all have Registration certificates.Do we need to apply for Residence cards as well? Thank you.

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 3-May-17 @ 11:38 AM
Hi.I am Bulgarian and I have been living in England for 7 years now.I work as an employee and my husband is self-emploed.Me and my family all have Registration certificates.Do we need to apply for Residence cards as well? Thank you.
Gala - 2-May-17 @ 9:36 PM
Hi! I'm Italian and applied for my registration certificate last week. How long does it take to hear back from the Home Office? It is my first time sending my passport somewhere and I'm a bit nervous I haven't got an email saying that they received my application. Thank you!
VM - 1-May-17 @ 2:35 PM
Ola... its been three months I have applied for portugal five years residency card and still didn't receive any letter from SEF My husband is a Portuguese national. Please inform me as soon as possible.
ansa - 28-Apr-17 @ 12:55 PM
I been in UK since 1998. I'm Latvian citizen Married with British citizen since 2008. I'm apply for residence card but recently received residency certificate.We ask our passports back for traveling abroad on vacation and do not withdraw my aplcant form for resident card. What should I do next to get resident card? Kind regards , Lija Duguid
Lia - 27-Apr-17 @ 10:41 PM
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