Guidelines for UK Residence Card

How to apply for UK Residence Card?

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UK Residence Card

An EEA (European Economic Area) residence card, known as a UK residence card works as a Visa which enables people to live in the UK. Residence card lasts up to five years, after that period of time, it then can be replaced with permanent residency. However, with the current situation, the UK Residence Card, applications are no longer accepted due to Brexit procedures. In 2016, British citizens voted to leave the EU (their biggest and closest trading partner), to control their border and inflow of immigration. Although many disagreed that it will destroy the economic and social system (a total of 16,141,241 said to remain), 17,410,742 voted to leave. 

Those that already have their card, will not be allowed to use it after 30th June 2021. For individuals that applied for a residence card before 1st January 2021, the application still will be considered and an answer will be given in the next 6 months. The same rules apply for Permanent residence cards, after 30th June 2021, card won’t be in force. However, If an application was made before 31st December 2020, it may still be examined and a decision could take up to 6 months.

Already have a Residence Card

Individuals who have already have a UK Residence Card/Permanent Residence Card may use it until 30th June 2021. Card entitles individuals to enter the country in a quicker and more convenient way, permit employment in the UK, and access certain benefits such as the NHS. After 30th June 2021, a person living in the UK can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme - applications for this close on 30th June 2021.

Proving Residency in the UK

Although people may live in the UK for a long time, their residency is not always granted, which is mostly affected by a lack of supporting documents. Therefore, whilst proving your residency in the UK, there are few documents a person must provide in order for residency to be accepted. A person must prove that they have lived in the UK for five years. They can do that by providing tax documentation, such as P60 or P45, or council tax bills. Another form of acceptable documentation is a contract or letter confirming employment, or any pension statements highlighting that the employer is paying pension contributions. Statements to do with a mortgage for a house or flats are also accepted. For those that are still in education, a letter from an educational institution, along with any bills addressed by the applicant’s name (electricity, water bill, council tax), are considered acceptable.

Residence Card has not arrived

Since obtaining a decision letter, a card should arrive within 10 working days. If the card doesn’t come within 10 working days, individuals must email the Home Office on [email protected] What’s needed to be included in the email is the person's full name, nationality and date of birth. Along with a passport number and case reference number, contact telephone, and delivery address.

Replacement of Residence/Permanent Status Card

Replacement of cards is no longer applicable due to Brexit procedures. If a card is stolen, damaged, expired, or lost, a person must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (which will be explained below). In a situation where a passport expires, the card cannot be transferred to a new passport. Yet, if a card is still valid, it can be used whilst travelling but both passports (old and new) have to be shown.

Stolen, Lost, or Damaged Card

First of all, a person must contact the police, and report a theft of loss. Whilst on the phone a case reference number will be given, it is important this number is saved for further procedure. This procedure is that a person must email [email protected] Information required in the email must contain full name, nationality, and date of birth. Along with contact details, passport number and a police case reference number, and how the theft or loss has happened.

If a card was damaged, a similar email must be written to a special email address: [email protected] Email must also include personal and contact details, passport number, residence card reference number, and cause of damage

All of the above information may be also sent via post to an address:

  • Freepost RRYX-GLYU-GXHZ
  • Returns Unit
  • PO Box 163
  • Bristol
  • BS20 1AB

EU Settled Status & UK Permanent Residence

In regards to both documents, EU settled status and UK permanent status are not the same. EU settled status isn't a right in the UK, but a status the EU citizens can apply for, in order to live in European countries. With new restrictions which will take place on 30th June 2021, influenced by Brexit, EU citizens who are living in the UK and have a permanent residence card will need to apply for British citizenship.

Individuals who are usually granted permanent residence, are the ones that live in the UK for 5 years. A permanent residence document is required before applying for British citizenship.

How long can I stay outside the UK with a residence card?

With a residence card, an individual is allowed to stay up to 6 months outside of the UK. If a person wishes to stay longer, they will need to return to the UK after a maximum of 6 months so a required 5-year continuous residence if approved.

Residency and Property Purchasing 

In some countries buying residential property will result in citizenship. This is known as citizenship by investment (CIP). Investment rules are that the investment figure must exceed a specific sum, so citizenship and passport are granted. Some of these countries include Dominicana, Cyprus or Malta. For the United Kingdom, purchasing residential property does not grant a passport or citizenship to the investor.

Purchasing a UK Citizenship - Investor Visa Program

In 2008, the UK government created an Investor Visa Program. The program was introduced to allow high value, talented individuals (who invest largely in the UK) to be granted permission to enter the UK under the ‘Tier 1’ category as an investor. Investment in the UK must exceed a figure of £2,000,000. With Tier 1 Visa people can stay within the UK for a time period of 3 years and 4 months, with a possibility of extension for another 2 years.

To obtain a Tier 1 Investor Visa, a person must be over 18 years of age, must provide proof that money belongs to him/her, or their wife/husband/spouse, and open an account in a UK bank for the funds to be used. 

With Tier 1 Visa, individuals can work and study, apply to settle after 2 years if investment reaches a figure of £10 million, apply to settle after 3 years if the investment is £5 million, or apply to settle after 5 years if the investment is £2 million. What they can’t do is work as a professional sportsperson or sports coach, obtain public funding, work as a doctor/dentist unless specific requirements are fulfilled. Investors' families may also be granted a residence permit and British citizenship by investment. This can happen when investors additionally invest in government bonds or invest at least £2 million in a UK registered company.

In contrast, Tier 2 Visa is applicable to people who have been offered employment in the UK, and are being sponsored by UKVI (UK Visa and Immigration) authorised employers. Tier 2 is for people outside of EEA. This is the main route for skilled workers to be employed by UK firms.

Time limits for travels outside of the UK for a British Resident

For people who have indefinite leave to remain, and may wish to travel and live abroad for a fixed period of time. This time cannot exceed two years, or indefinite leave to remain might become invalid. For people with settlement status, living outside the UK can reach 5 years.

Derivative Residence Card

A Derivative Residence card is a document granted to non-EEA citizens, who are granted the card for a variety of purposes, highlighting that the right of residence is obtained from EU law. However, with the current Brexit transition period, the derivative residence card can no longer be applied for. If the card is already in a person possession its validity will expire on 30th June 2021. Application for replacement of derivative residence cards is also no longer permitted. If a card has expired, was stolen, damaged or lost, then Eu Settlement Scheme must be filled in to remain in the UK.

EU Settlement Status

After 30th June 2021, in order to continue living in the UK, EU nationals must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (without proof of 5-year continuous residency), or apply for citizenship before 30th June 2021.

Application for EU Settlement Scheme can be also applied for if the person was living in the UK by 31st December 2020. The conditions for application is that the person is the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen (someone’s main carer - could be a relative or legal guardian), a child of primary carer of British, EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, or a child of a former worker from Eu, EEA, or Switzerland and are in education. After January 2021, a person may require a UK Visa, which can be checked on an official government website.