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Registration Certificates and Residence Cards

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 6 Dec 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]
Hamad - Your Question:
Hi I’m Italian I have seven years in the uk l have registration document to apply for British citizenship I need perminint residence to apply thanks

Our Response:
Please see gov.uk link here which will give you all the information European Union citizens living in the UK need to know regarding applying for residency.
AboutImmigration - 7-Dec-17 @ 11:45 AM
@Hamad - You cannot apply for British citizenship without a Permanent Residency document/card
TJ. - 6-Dec-17 @ 7:17 PM
Hi I’m Italian I have seven years in the uk l have registration document to apply for British citizenship I need perminint residence to apply thanks
Hamad - 6-Dec-17 @ 3:24 PM
@TJ. Thank you for your answer. I will the family permit without doing the QP to the moment. Another question: Since I will present a certified copy of my husbands Italian passport, I was going to go to the Italian consulate in London to have the copy authenticated and then translate this authenticated copy in my home country to English language. Do you think this is enough or am I missing something? Thanks!
Maque - 9-Nov-17 @ 2:52 PM
@Maque you can apply for an EEA family permit using a certified copy of your husband's passport. Your husband does not require a registration certificate for your application but it will be good to have to prove his status as a 'qualified person'.
TJ. - 7-Nov-17 @ 5:06 PM
Hi, My husband has dual nationality (Italian and Uruguayan), I am Uruguayan. Having finished our masters in London my husband now got a job. I will go to my home country to apply for the EEA family permit, meanwhile my doubt is if it is necessary for him to get the "registration certificate as a qualified person", since I heard it can be good to have it if he wants to sponsor my visa. Moreover, for him to apply for this registration certificate, does he have to hand over his Italian passport or can he present a certified copy? He travels for work and has a personal trip planned and might need to have it with him.
Maque - 7-Nov-17 @ 3:40 PM
Hi If i get married and i change my surname do i have to apply to update it on the Registartion Certificate?
Ana - 6-Oct-17 @ 5:33 PM
Hi, Wanted to know the documents required for a minor Portuguese national student, 12 yrs old who wants to apply for his residence certificate
Vally - 28-Sep-17 @ 12:14 AM
Hi, I have resident permit for 5 years, I had a baby and I know that she will take a travel document same as me, how long does it take the procedure normally?
Ana - 26-Aug-17 @ 2:28 PM
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
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