1. Overview

You can apply for a residence card if you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) and living with a European partner or family member who’s not British.

You don’t need a residence card to live in the UK, 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 should instead apply for a derivative right of residence card if you’re the carer of an EEA citizen, the carer’s child, or the child of an EEA worker and currently in education.

How long it lasts for

A residence card can last up to 5 years.

After 5 years, you can apply for a permanent residence card.


It costs £55 for each person included in an application.