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Registration Certificates and Residence Cards

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 8 May 2019 | 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]
@Sentina - Only Irish citizens can access Benefits in the UK just like British citizens. Other rules apply to the rest of EU citizens
TJ. - 8-May-19 @ 9:48 AM
Hi, Could you please please tell me if I have the Registration Certificate (Card) can I have access to the benefits as a British citizen?
Sentina - 7-May-19 @ 9:57 PM
Hi I wonder if you can help me. I am Bulgarian citizen and I was issued with blue and yellow card between 2009 and 2013 when it was a requirement to have them. Now i would like to apply for residency in the uK and I don't keep the cards but I saw theta the home office will need to see the originals as part of the application. Is there any way of applying for duplicates of these 2 documents so that I can provide the home office with them ? Your help is much appreciated.
Dani - 9-Apr-19 @ 4:33 PM
Good afternoon, I have a registration certificate from 2009. I have changed my name secondary to marriage and I would like to know if/ how can I apply for new registration card under my new name. Which form should I use? many thanks
cris - 13-Mar-19 @ 12:20 PM
I forgot to say I'm from Romania . I think the rules of 12 months working is applied only for non -ea ?
Laura - 4-Jan-19 @ 10:05 AM
Hello , what about if I'm looking after my kids(2 years old and1 year old )and I will start work just now . I would like to apply for registration certificate after 3 months working . Did they will accept me or I have to work 12 months to be accepted?I been working before I have p60 from 2016,2017.
Laura - 4-Jan-19 @ 10:01 AM
I am a EEA National from Portugal. I entered UK on 19th December 2018. I am looking to apply for a UK registration certificate. On the category of job seeker I have the below : Since coming to UK on 19 Dec 2018 1. I have had a bank account 2. I have applied for a National Insurance number. Interview has been taken and obtained a reference number and awaiting for the NI number. 3. I have registered myself for NHS and posses a NHS number. 4.I have applied for a Provisional drivers license. 5.I have also registered myself with a recruiting agency . 6. I have been given a job offer by a company. On the category of being self sufficient. 1. I have a letter from my employer in USA stating that I am employed for Carnival Corporation cruise ships in USA. 2. I also have wage slips of the company. 3. However I do not have comprehensive sickness insurance. My query is can I apply for UK registration certificate even though I recently came to UK and it has only been 10 days. If I can under which category can I apply? Kindly advise. AD
Antonio Dias - 30-Dec-18 @ 7:35 PM
Hi,I have aResidence Certificationsince2012 . I been studying from 2011 till presentand I also been supportedby my Mother. I'mover 18 and I'mfrom EU country . What the next step is becauseI will like to apply for BritishCitenziship,Thank you !
Madina - 28-Dec-18 @ 8:10 PM
@Tommaso_j - To enjoy the rights of an EU citizen in the UK you must enter on an EU passport or national ID card
TJ. - 8-Oct-18 @ 1:33 PM
@TJ - I have dual nationality ( Italian - Venezuelan ) can I re-enter to the UK with my Venezuelan passport and registration certificate card travelling from Spain ?
Tommaso_j - 7-Oct-18 @ 6:13 PM
@Tommaso_j - The UK is not part of the Schengen area so all EU citizens require a valid passport or ID card to travel to the UK
TJ. - 7-Oct-18 @ 10:44 AM
Hello, can I travelfrom UK to Spain with a registration certificate ? I'm Italian citizen but I haven't got the renewal of my passport. Thanks for your help.
Tommaso_j - 6-Oct-18 @ 2:09 PM
Hi, I have resident certificate, I’m citizen of EU area, how to apply for resident certificate for my son, he is 17 year old? Thank you!
Mari - 21-Sep-18 @ 12:12 PM
Please am Italian citizen and I have apply UK residence permit for my wife and I have move from my old house to another house,what should I do to inform the home office of change of address...thx
Eben - 19-Aug-18 @ 9:28 AM
D.C - Your Question:
I have a question. I want to know, what happens when the UK exits the EU with my Registration certificate?Do I need to do some other document?I'm Italian. Thank you very much.

Our Response:
The link here should help answer your question.
AboutImmigration - 9-Jul-18 @ 3:26 PM
I have a question. I want to know,what happens when the UK exits the EU with my Registration certificate? Do I need to do some other document? I'm Italian. Thank you very much.
D.C - 9-Jul-18 @ 1:16 PM
Can I use HMRC work history (2013 - 2018) to prove 5 years residency was met
HarryO - 20-Jun-18 @ 3:10 PM
Ma - Your Question:
Hi I am European citizen working in UK and I want to apply for residence card so I want to know I should to apply for registration certificate or residence card and also I want to know which form I have to download I have two little children thanks

Our Response:
You can see more via the gov.uk link here, which will explain all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 21-May-18 @ 12:09 PM
Hi I am European citizen working in UK and I want to apply for residence card so I want to know I should to apply for registration certificate or residence card and also I want to know which form I have to download I have two little children thanks
Ma - 21-May-18 @ 12:05 AM
Parm - Your Question:
Hi, I have Italian passport.i came in uk 13 feb 2018. I got job 3rd of march. Now I am working full-time.can you please tell me can I apply residence card or something different things can I apply. Thanks

Our Response:
You can see all you need to know via the gov.uk link here, which will tell you all you need to know.
AboutImmigration - 26-Mar-18 @ 11:16 AM
Hi, i have Italianpassport.i came in uk 13 feb 2018. I got job 3rd of march. Now i am workingfull-time.can you pleasetell me can i apply residencecard or something differentthings can i apply.Thanks
Parm - 24-Mar-18 @ 8:39 AM
Hello, When applied for my Registration Certificate 2008 my kids was underage and i was told that get residency automatically.There where no any documents issued for them.Now she is over 18 and we would like to apply for British Citizenship. One of requirements is that you need residency. Do we need to reapply residency for her? Thank you so much.
Guni - 27-Feb-18 @ 9:35 AM
My wife is Dutch passport holder exercising treaty rights in UK since 2011 (6 yrs). She received permanent residence certificate in May 17 (9 months ago). Our child was born last week....just want to check if i can apply for British passport for my Child as my wife is having permanent residence certificate? P.S. I am currently in UK holding EEA family permit on the basis of my wife. Thank you.
Hano - 20-Feb-18 @ 9:57 PM
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
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