How to apply for residence documents as the non-EEA family member of an EEA national
This page explains how you can apply for documents proving your right to live in the UK if you are a non-European family member of an European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national.
For more information about documents for non-European family members, and when you can apply for them, see the Residence documents for European citizens' family members page.
You can apply for a residence card by completing the EEA2 application form.
You can apply for a permanent residence card by completing the EEA4 application form.
You should read the EEA guidance notes before you make your application.
You can find these application forms and the guidance notes under 'Application forms' on the right side of this page.
How to submit your application
You must submit your application by post, to the address on the front of the application form.
All applications can be made by post under European law. There is no fee for applications sent by post.
What should you send with your application?
When you make your application, you must provide:
- your valid passport;
- the EEA or Swiss national's valid passport or identity card;
- evidence of your relationship to the EEA or Swiss national; and
- 2 passport-style photographs of you.
You must also provide:
- evidence that the EEA or Swiss national is currently exercising European Treaty rights in the UK, if you are applying for a residence card or a family member residence stamp - the Residence documents for EEA citizens page explains what European Treaty rights are; or
- evidence that you have a right to permanent residence, if you are applying for confirmation of that right.
The EEA guidance notes contain more information about the evidence required. We have also produced a checklist which can help you decide what evidence to provide. You can find this checklist under 'Related documents' on the right side of this page.
We will return your documents using Royal Mail 2nd class post, or by Recorded Delivery if we received and acknowledged your application before 17 January 2011. If you want us to return your documents to you by a Royal Mail 'signed for' service, you can find out what to do under 'More information' below.
The time taken to process your application will depend on the type of application you make and how you submit it.
We deal with all applications within 6 months. Some applications will be resolved much sooner.
To help us to focus on deciding applications as soon as possible, please do not phone or write to ask about the progress of your application unless you need a passport or other document urgently.
Returning your documents
If you want us to return your documents to you by a Royal Mail 'signed for' service, you must enclose a pre-paid, self-addressed Royal Mail Special Delivery (or Recorded Signed For delivery) envelope with your application.
The pre-paid envelope should be able to accommodate the size and weight of your documents, and should be insured. Please see the Royal Mail website for more information.
If you do not enclose a pre-paid envelope, we will return your documents using Royal Mail 2nd class post.
When you have submitted your application form, will the UK Border Agency send you an acknowledgement?
We will send you a certificate of application, in accordance with European law, as soon as your application has been received and a record has been established. Depending on your circumstances, your certificate of application may or may not give you an entitlement to work in the UK. If you do not have the right to work in the UK, we will send you a 'Questions and answers' sheet explaining why you cannot work.
If several weeks have elapsed since you submitted your application, and you have not received your certificate of application, you can phone our European enquiries contact centre to check whether we have sent you a certificate.
Why doesn't my certificate of application give me permission to work while my application is being considered?
There may be a number of reasons why we cannot confirm that you have a right to work in the UK. The main reasons are listed below:
- If you are seeking to remain in the UK on the basis of caring for a child who is an EEA national, your application is based on your full-time caring responsibilities, so you will not be given permission to work in the UK under the European regulations.
- If you are the unmarried partner or an 'extended family member' (such as a brother or sister) of an EEA national, you do not have an automatic right or entitlement to live in the UK with them. Until we have fully considered your application and determined that you qualify under the European regulations, we cannot confirm your right to work in the UK.
- If you have not provided satisfactory evidence of your identity or of your relationship to an EEA national, we may need to ask you for additional or alternative evidence. Until we have fully considered your application and determined that you qualify under the European rules, we cannot confirm your right to work in the UK.
- If you change your address If you are changing the address that you have given us for correspondence, you should use our online form to tell us of the change.
If you no longer want to proceed with your application
If you want to withdraw your application, you must inform us by sending a letter to:
UKBA - European Applications
PO Box 306
- How can you get your passport back from the UK Border Agency if you need to travel? See the return of documents page.
If your application is refused
If we have refused your application because you have not provided the necessary evidence to support your application, the quickest and easiest solution is to make a new application.
If you have a right of appeal, you can choose to appeal against our decision. We will send you details of how to do this, and the appropriate appeal forms, with your refusal letter.
We will only reconsider our decision in exceptional circumstances. Your appeal will only succeed if our decision, based on the evidence that we had at the time, was incorrect. For example, a reconsideration is not appropriate if you did not supply enough evidence to support your application - in that situation, you should make a new application and ensure that you include all the supporting information.
If your appeal against our decision to refuse your application is allowed, when will you receive your documentation?
The time taken to implement your appeal decision will vary, as it takes time for your file and details of the judgment to be collated and sent to us. If you have not heard from us 8 weeks after your appeal was allowed, please phone our European enquiries contact centre and we will investigate this further.
- Can you apply for British nationality? For information about British citizenship and nationality, visit the British citizenship section of this website.
Residence card (non-European family members of EEA or Swiss nationals)
- Form EEA2 PDF 277KB opens in a new window
Permanent residence (non-European family members of EEA or Swiss nationals)
- Form EEA4 PDF 334KB opens in a new window
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The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK.
- EEA application checklistPDF 61KB opens in a new window