Overview

You do not need to apply for a residence card 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 residence card it will not be valid after 31 December 2020.

There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK until 2021. You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK after June 2021. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

Who should currently apply

You do not 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 will not be valid after 31 December 2020. You and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK. The scheme will open fully by March 2019.

If your residence card expires before March 2019, you can 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 does not involve any ink or mess.