1. Overview

A derivative residence card helps prove you have the right to live and work in the UK.

You’re eligible if you’re living in the UK and you’re one of the following:

  • the primary carer of someone who has the right to live in the UK
  • the primary carer’s child
  • the child of a former European Economic Area (EEA) worker and you’re at school, college or university in the UK

Being a ‘primary carer’ means you’re someone’s main carer, or you share the responsibility with someone else, and you’re their direct relative or legal guardian.

You can’t apply if you’re outside the UK - apply for an EEA family permit instead.

How you can use the card

You don’t have to get a derivative residence card, but it can:

  • help you re-enter the country quicker when you come back from abroad
  • show employers you’re allowed to work in the UK
  • show relevant authorities (eg your local council) that you’re allowed to live in the UK


It costs £65 to apply.

How long you can stay

You can continue living in the UK for as long as you’re eligible, eg for as long the person you’re caring for lives in the UK.

What you can’t do

You can’t count time spent in the UK with a derivative right of residence towards applying for permanent residence in the UK.

Get more information on derivative rights of residence.