Apply for a UK residence card

1. Overview

You don’t need to apply for a document to prove you can live in the UK unless you’re both:

  • from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • an extended family member of someone from the EEA or Switzerland

If you already have a permanent residence document it won’t be valid after the UK leaves the EU.

A new scheme will be available for EU citizens and their family members to apply to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU. 

Exiting the EU and UK residence

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.

Find out how the status of EU citizens in the UK will be secured after the UK leaves the EU. 

Sign up for email updates to find out when you’ll be able to apply to stay in the UK under the new scheme and what steps you’ll need to take.

Who should currently apply

You don’t need to apply for a residence card as a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, but it can:

  • help you re-enter the country more quickly and easily if you travel abroad
  • show employers you’re allowed to work in the UK
  • help prove you qualify for certain benefits and services

You must apply for a residence card if you’re an extended family member.

You must apply for a derivative right of residence card if you’re the carer of an EEA citizen or UK national, the carer’s child, or the child of a former worker from the EEA and you’re currently in education.

How long it lasts for

A residence card usually lasts up to 5 years. However, your residence card won’t be valid after the UK leaves the EU.

A new scheme will be available for EU citizens and their family members to apply to stay in the UK after the UK leaves the EU. 

If your residence card expires before the new scheme is available, you should reapply for another residence card.

Fees

It costs £65 for each person included in an application.

You’ll be asked to provide your biometric information as part of your application.

You can do this at certain Post Office branches. It costs £19.20.

You’ll need to:

  • have a digital photo taken of your face
  • put your fingers on a glass screen to be scanned
  • give your signature

The process takes less than 5 minutes and doesn’t involve any ink or mess.