Nationals of countries within the European Economic Area and Switzerland have the right to work, live and study freely in the UK. EEA Permanent Residence is a form of ‘settled status’, also known as Indefinite Leave to Remain for non-EEA migrants. This is an essential document for those intending to apply for British Citizenship in the future.

To apply for EEA Permanent Residence, you will need to have lived in the UK continuously for at least five years. As Brexit approaches, those who will not have lived in the UK for at least five years before March 2019 will not be able to apply for Permanent Residence. Currently, the government’s intention is to set up a new scheme for EEA migrants already in the UK to register for settled status if they are eligible. For those who are not eligible, and those who enter after ‘Brexit day’ in 2019, there will be a temporary visa scheme you can apply for. This will allow you to reach five years’ residence to apply for settled status.

For non-EEA citizens who have family members exercising their Treaty rights in the UK, there are opportunities to join your family. You may be able to join them on an EEA Family Permit and gain Permanent Residence/settled status after five years’ residence.

How can IAS help?

If you are eligible for EEA Permanent Residence in the UK or are wondering how to secure your status once you have migrated, we can help. The lawyers at IAS are all knowledgeable in current legislation and will be able to advise you no matter what your situation. Call now on +1844 290 6312or make an inquiry online to discuss your circumstances with a professional.


What is an EEA Citizen?

An EEA citizen is a national of a country in the EU or the European Economic Area. This includes Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. Being part of the EEA means that these countries are part of the European Single Market. This allows freedom of movement between member states.

Switzerland is neither an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. Swiss nationals have the same rights as other EEA citizens to enter and live in the UK.

Bulgarian and Romanians gained the right to visa-free travel in 2007 after joining the EU but were restricted in the kinds of jobs they could take. These restrictions have now been lifted and citizens of these countries have the same rights as all other member states.

Can I apply for EEA Permanent Residence in the UK?

You can apply for EEA Permanent Residence once you have lived in the UK for five consecutive years. This status would protect your rights to be in the country after Brexit regardless of the outcome of negotiations. In order to apply, you must have been exercising your Treaty rights by working, self-sufficiency or study.

You must also prove that you meet one of these other conditions:

  • You are a ‘qualified person’, which includes workers, students, and job-seekers;
  • You are the non-EEA family member of a qualified person or person with permanent residence;
  • You are the former family member of an EEA citizen. This could be due to the EEA national passing away, leaving the EU or breaking up your marriage/civil partnership;
  • You are the family member of a British citizen who worked or was self-employed in another EU state before returning to the UK.

How can I apply for EEA Permanent Residence?

The application for EEA Permanent Residence is 85 pages long and comes with a £65 fee to the Home Office. If you are a non-EEA national applying through a family member, you will also need to submit your biometric information.

If you are making an application of multiple family members, you can use the same application but the fee will increase with each applicant.

Due to an increased number of applications before Brexit, the Home Office is trialing an online application form. Unlike the paper form, the online application will only include questions relating to you, which is believed to speed up the process. This form is not suitable for everyone, so you should confirm the best option for your circumstances before you begin.

How long does it take to apply for EEA PR?

In accordance with EU law, all EEA PR applications must be processed within six months. Processing times may be higher than usual at the minute due to a higher demand.

Applicants have been reporting waiting times from 2-8 months.

What services does IAS offer?

IAS have years of experience in EU law and have a proven record of positive results for EEA Permanent Residence applications. If you or your family member would like to know more about your opportunities for residents in the UK or options for moving to join family, our lawyers will be able to help.

Your lawyer will:

  • Meet with you in person, over the phone or via Skype (this includes conference calls for more than one party);
  • Assess your eligibility and identify the best route to reach your intended outcome;
  • Complete your application forms in full and perform a thorough document check;
  • Prepare a tailored, personal Letter of Representation to support your case;
  • Respond to any queries the Home Office have before they make their decision.

Call +1844 290 6312 or use our online contact form if you would like advice from an immigration professional.

Our Permanent Residence Packages

Advice Package

Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to you, with written confirmation


Application Package

Full assistance throughout your entire application process


Fast Track Package

A premium service which allows your application to take priority position in your lawyer's workload


Appeal Package

Full representation through your appeal, including physical representation if your case is heard by a tribunal


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Case studies

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