The Complete Guide to Getting an EEA Residence Card

The European Economic Area (EEA) is an agreement between certain European countries that gives their citizens special rights when living in another EEA country. If you’re from an EEA country and planning to move to the UK, you may wonder about your residency rights. Does that mean you can’t live here? Maybe not. There are several ways that you can get a visa or permit to reside in the UK as an EEA national. One of them is getting an EEA residence card to verify your status as a resident of the EU. This article will tell you everything you need to know about getting an EEA residence card if you’re moving to the UK from one of the EEA countries (excluding Switzerland).

The Complete Guide to Getting an EEA Residence Card

In the past, people from European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland had to apply for a residence permit if they wanted to stay in Sweden for longer than three months. However, now things have changed, thanks to new regulations.
The EEA residence permit is usually granted on arrival at the Swedish border if you come from another EEA country or Switzerland. With that said, there are some exceptions; you will need an EEA residence card if: 
An EEA residence card is not a visa but a document proving your right to live and work in Sweden as an EU/EEA citizen. This article will help you understand what an EEA residence card is, the different types of cards available, and the eligibility criteria.

If you have an active job offer, a contract with a company, or have been offered a place at a university in the EEA and in the country where you live, you might be eligible for an EU residence card. This card gives you the right to reside, work, and study in any EU country. You should apply as soon as possible once your status changes or if you plan on staying longer than three months. An EEA residence card is available to non-EU citizens who intend to reside permanently in the EU and are entitled to access social benefits under the European Social Security System (ESSS).

As of January 1st, 2022, non-EU citizens will no longer be able to apply for an EEA residence card. Other options exist if you are not from within the bloc, such as applying for a permanent residency permit. This article provides all of the details needed to successfully apply for an EEA residence card, including information on eligibility requirements and required documentation.

What is an EEA residence card?

An EEA residence card is a document that allows you to reside, work and study in another EU country when you are not an EU citizen. An EEA residence card is the equivalent of a residence permit for the EU. It allows you to legally reside and work in the EU and access healthcare, pensions, and the labor market. The aim is to make it easier for people to move to or from the EU, especially regarding employment. Residencies are now replacing the card.

How to apply for an EEA residence card

You can apply for your EEA residence card online via the EEA Residence Card Portal. You will need to provide your personal details, proof of your identity and address, and supporting documents. The portal will take you through the application process, including uploading your documents and receiving an electronic receipt. However, you will need to gather all of your documents beforehand and submit them in one file. You cannot apply for an EEA residence card while you are in the country receiving the card.

How long does it take to get an EEA residence card?

The time it will take to receive your residence card will depend on how quickly you submit your application and gather your documents. The Department of Exiting the EU states that, in most cases, it will take between two and six weeks. However, this can change depending on when your application is received and whether further processing is required. It can also take longer in some circumstances, such as if your application is rejected or if you are applying for multiple cards.
EEA Residence Card Requirements

The required documents to apply for an EEA residence card are:

Duly completed application form for an EEA Residence Card. Form EEA (FM) for family members. Use form EEA (EFM) if you’re an extended family member.

  1.  The applicant’s valid passport
  2. Two recently made passport-size color photos of the applicant.
  3. One recently made a passport-size color photo of the sponsor. Of the EEA or British citizen.
  4. EEA nationals’ valid passports/their national ID card.

    The application fee.
    Documents endorsing the relationship of the non-EEA with the EEA national (sponsor).

  •    Certificate of marriage.
  • Certificate of civil partnership.
  • Certificate of birth.
  • Evidence of communal life with your EEA sponsor for at least two years. For a relationship that is not matrimony or a civil partnership.

Documents to confirm any residence status of a sponsor or the applicant (as the case may be).

  1. Evidence that your EEA sponsor has the permanent right of residence in the UK.
  2. Evidence that your EEA sponsor is a qualified person.
  3. Evidence that you’re a ‘retained right of residence’ If relevant.
  4. Evidence that you’re a ‘Surinder Singh’ case. If relevant.

For ‘Surinder Singh’ applications only: documents confirm a shared life and household between the British citizen and the non-EEA national in another EEA country.

  •  Evidence showing your home address in the foreign EEA state.
  •  The renting contract.
  •  Purchasing contract.
  • Other formal documents show the home address.

Evidence of integration in the foreign EEA state.

  1. Proof of speaking any of the official languages of such state.
  2. Proof of having children born there.
  3. Proof of having children still living there.

Previous travel itinerary to and from the foreign EEA state. Must show all arrival and departure dates to/from and from/to the foreign EEA state.

  1. The immigration history to the UK and other countries. (If any).
  2. Complete visa applications for the UK or other country visas.
  3. Rejections, cancellations, deportations, or similar immigration fines in the UK.

Does an EEA residence card grant permanent residency in the EU?

No, an EEA residence card does not provide any permanent residency status. The card is only valid for five years, and you must apply for a new one. After your five years of residence in the EU with your EEA residence card, you can apply for an extension for a further five years, and so on. Your residence card will give you the right to reside in any EU country, but you cannot work in another country without a specific permit. You cannot apply for another EU residence card without first leaving the country you currently reside in.

Can you travel and stay on a temporary visa with an EEA residence card?

Yes, an EEA residence card is a travel document that allows you to enter the EU and stay for up to three months without a visa. You will need to show your card and passport to immigration officials when joining the bloc and be able to prove that you are allowed to be there. On exit, you will also need to show your card to customs officials and have a valid reason for being outside the EU. If you travel to the UK, your card will give you access to healthcare, pensions, and other benefits available to British citizens under the National Health Service (NHS), British Pensions, and the Social Fund.

Which documents are required when applying for an EU Residence Card?

When applying for your EEA residence card, you will need several documents to prove your identity, nationality, and residence. The documents you will need to apply for an EEA residence card depend on your race. The documents you need to provide can include Identity and nationality documents:

- Passport with a valid stay and photo-identity photo page and a photo page from the passport book;

- Birth certificate;

- National identity card;

- Naturalisation certificate;

- Marriage certificate if applying as a Husband/Wife;

- Divorce decree if applying as a single person;

- Other identity documents as specified by the country of application. Proof of residence:

- Proof of registration of your address in the civil state;

- Bank statement that shows your address is in the EU;

- Rental contract or lease that shows your address is in the EU;

- Utility bill; - Health insurance policy;

- Vehicle registration;

- Any other proof of residence as specified by the country of application.

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An EEA residence card gives you the right to reside, work, and study in any EU country. It is valid for five years, and you must apply for a new one after five years. It is only valid in the EU, and you cannot work in another country without a specific permit. It is not a permanent residency card and does not grant you permanent residency. An EEA residence card is only available to non-EU citizens and does not extend the right of EU citizens to reside in another EU country.