This relates to UK residence card, EEA registration certificate, permanent residence (PR) card and documents certifying permanent residence (aka EEA PR card) under the EEA Regulations 2016 for EEA nationals and non-EEA family members. And accordingly, provides the details of frequently asked questions (FAQs), application fee, processing time, certificates of application (COA) and refusal rate of UK residence card, EEA registration certificate and EEA PR cards.

UK Residence Cards and Documents under the EEA Regulations

Apparently, EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members can make the following types of applications under the EEA Regulations 2016:

  1. EEA family permit (for non-EEA family members from outside the UK)
  2. EEA Registration Certificate
  3. UK residence card for non-EEA family members
  4. EEA document certifying permanent residence (aka EEA PR card)
  5. UK permanent residence card for non-EEA family members (aka UK PR card)
  6. UK derivative residence card

Moreover, applicants can also get a temporary admission for making an application in person.

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UK Residence Cards for Non-EEA Family Members

Certainly, a non-EEA national can apply for a UK residence card if he/she is the family member of a qualified EEA national or a family member of an EEA national with a right of permanent residence. Moreover, non-EEA nationals can also apply for UK residence card if he/she has retained a right of residence under regulation 10. However, non-EEA nationals can only apply for a UK residence card from inside the UK.

UK Residence Card Documents Checklist

Accordingly, a non-EEA national can make a valid application for a UK residence card as a direct family member if the applicant:

  1. submits the application online (if applicable) or by using the specified form EEA(FM). Apparently, a family member can only submit an application for a UK residence card if he/she is applying with a relevant EEA national.
  2. submits a correct and complete application for UK residence card
  3. pays the relevant application fee – £65 for each applicant
  4. submits his/her valid original passport
  5. provides a valid passport or valid national ID card for the relevant EEA national, who is sponsoring the application
  6. submits required proof that the applicant is a family member of the relevant EEA national. For instance, a marriage or birth certificate
  7. submits proof that the relevant EEA national is a qualified person or has permanent residence. Perhaps, the evidence relating to a qualified person may vary depending upon the basis on which the relevant EEA national is exercising his/her free movement rights under the EEA Regulations 2016

UK Residence Card for Extended Family Members (EFMs)

Certainly, an extended non-EEA family member (EFM) of a qualified EEA national or with a right of permanent residence in the UK do not have an automatic right of residence. Accordingly, if an extended non-EEA family member (EFM) intends to reside in the UK, under the EEA Regulations 2016, beyond an initial 3 months then needs to apply for the UK residence card. Apparently, a partner of the EEA national in a durable relationship can apply as a non-EEA extended family member (EFM). However, such a partner should not be a spouse or civil partner of the relevant EEA national. Moreover, a non-EEA relative of the EEA national, who is not a direct family member, can also apply for UK residence card if he/she:

  • has been dependent on the EEA national before coming to the UK and continues to be dependent on the EEA national
  • has been a member of the EEA national’s household. And apparently continues to remain a member of an EEA national’s household
  • is experiencing serious health problems. And requires personal care of the EEA national and would meet the requirements in the immigration rules for indefinite leave to enter/remain as a dependent relative in addition to the requirements relating to entry clearance
UK Residence Card Supporting Documents for EFM

Accordingly, a non-EEA national, if he/she has not previously been issued with residency documentation, can make a valid application under Regulation 18 for UK residence card as a non-EEA extended family member (EFM) if the applicant:

  1. submits the application either online (if applicable) or by using the specified form EEA(EFM)
  2. submits a correct and complete application for UK residence card
  3. pays the relevant application fee – £65 for each applicant
  4. submits a valid passport
  5. provides a valid passport or valid national ID card for the relevant EEA national, who is sponsoring the application
  6. evidence of the relationship between the EFM and the relevant EEA national
  7. submits proof that the relevant EEA national has permanent residence or is a qualified person. Perhaps, evidence relating to a qualified person may vary depending upon the basis on which the relevant EEA national is exercising his/her free movement rights
  8. if applicable, evidence that EFM is in a durable (lasting) relationship with the relevant EEA national
  9. if applicable, the applicant needs to provide proof that he/she is a relative of the relevant EEA national and dependent on them, a member of their household, strictly need their personal care on serious health grounds or would meet the requirements in the immigration rules for indefinite leave to enter/remain as a dependent relative

UK Residence Card Processing Time

In terms of regulation 18(3) of EEA Regulations 2016, the Home Office needs to decide a non-EEA national’s within 6 months of receiving a valid application. However, the average leave to remain processing time is usually within 6-10 weeks.

EEA Registration Certificates for EEA Nationals

Certainly, an EEA national can apply for a registration certificate under EEA Regulations 2016 if he/she is a qualified person. Perhaps, EEA nationals can also apply for an EEA registration certificate as a family member of:

  1. another EEA national who is either a qualified person or permanent residence in the UK
  2. another EEA national and has retained a right of residence in the UK

EEA Registration Certificates for Qualified Persons

Apparently, an EEA national in the UK can apply for an EEA registration certificate as a qualified persons if he/she is a:

  1. worker, including applicants who have retained a worker status
  2. self-employed person, including those who have retained the self-employed status
  3. self-sufficient person
  4. student
  5. jobseeker
EEA Registration Certificates Supporting Documents Checklist

Accordingly, an EEA national can make a valid application for an EEA registration certificate as a qualified person if the applicant:

  1. submits the application online (if applicable) or by using the specified form EEA(QP)
  2. submits a correct and complete application for EEA registration certificate
  3. pays the relevant application fee for EEA registration certificate i.e. £65 for each applicant
  4. provide a valid original EEA national identity card or passport issued by an EEA state
  5. provides the evidence as a qualified person in the UK
Can a qualified EEA national apply with family members?

Yes, if a qualified EEA national is applying for registration certificate online then can add family members. However, if a qualified person applying for an EEA registration certificate using the EEA(QP) form then cannot include their EEA family members on the same application form. Therefore, needs to use either EEA(FM) for a direct family member or EEA(EFM) for an extended family member.

EEA Registration Certificates for Direct Family Members

Certainly, an EEA national, who is not a qualified person, can also apply for an EEA registration certificate as a direct family member. Accordingly, an EEA national can apply for a registration certificate as a direct family member if he/she:

  • is the family member of an EEA national who is a qualified person or the sponsoring EEA national has a right of permanent residence
  • has retained a right of residence under regulation 10 of EEA Regulations 2016

Moreover, direct family members of a British citizen, who qualify under Regulation 9, can also apply for an EEA registration certificate. And also that of a national of an EEA country who have acquired British citizenship and qualifies under regulation 9A.

EEA Registration Certificates Supporting Documents for DFM

Accordingly, an EEA national can make a valid EEA registration certificate application as a direct family member if the applicant:

  1. submits the application either online (if applicable) or by using the specified form EEA(FM). Apparently, a family member can only submit an EEA registration certificate online if he/she is applying with a relevant EEA national sponsor.
  2. submits a correct and complete EEA registration certificate application
  3. pays the relevant application fee – £65 for each applicant
  4. submits a valid EEA original national identity (ID) card or passport issued by an EEA member country for the applicant
  5. a valid passport or valid national ID card for the relevant EEA national sponsor
  6. proof that the applicant is a family member of a relevant EEA national sponsor. For instance, the evidence may include a marriage or birth certificate
  7. proof that the relevant EEA national is a qualified person or a permanent residence in the UK. Perhaps, the evidence relating to a qualified person may vary depending upon the basis on which the relevant EEA national is exercising his/her free movement rights under the EEA Regulations 2016

EEA Registration Certificates for Extended Family Members (EFM)

Certainly, an extended family member (EFM) of a qualified EEA national or with a right of permanent residence in the UK do not have an automatic right of residence. Accordingly, if an extended family member (EFM) intends to reside in the UK, under the EEA Regulations 2016, beyond an initial 3 months then needs to apply for an EEA registration certificate. Indeed, a partner of the EEA national in a durable relationship can apply as an extended family member (EFM). However, such a partner should not be a spouse or civil partner. Moreover, a relative of the EEA national, who is not a direct family member, can also apply for an EEA registration certificate if he/she:

  • has been dependent on the EEA national before coming to the UK and continues to be dependent on the EEA national
  • has been a member of the EEA national’s household and continues to remain a member of an EEA national’s household
  • is experiencing serious health problems and requires personal care of the EEA national. And also would meet the requirements in the immigration rules for indefinite leave to enter/remain as a dependent relative in addition to the entry clearance requirements
EEA Registration Certificates Supporting Documents for EFM

Accordingly, an EEA national, if he/she has not previously been issued with residency documentation, then can make a valid application for an EEA registration certificate as an extended family member (EFM) if the applicant:

  1. submits the application either online (if applicable) or by using the specified form EEA(EFM)
  2. submits a correct and complete EEA registration certificate application
  3. pays the relevant application fee – £65 for each applicant
  4. submits a valid original EEA national identity (ID) card or passport issued by an EEA member country for the applicant
  5. provides a valid passport or valid national ID card for the relevant EEA national sponsor
  6. evidence of the relationship between the EFM and the relevant EEA national sponsor
  7. proof that the relevant EEA national has permanent residence or is a qualified person. Perhaps, this evidence will vary depending upon the basis on which the EEA national is exercising his/her free movement rights
  8. if applicable, evidence that EFM is in a durable (lasting) relationship with the qualified EEA national
  9. if applicable, a relative of the EEA national and are dependent on them, a member of their household, strictly need the personal care of the relevant EEA sponsor on serious health grounds or would meet the requirements in the immigration rules for indefinite leave to enter/remain as a dependent relative

EEA Registration Certificates Processing Time

In terms of Regulation 17(1) of the EEA Regulations 2016, Home Office needs to issue an EEA registration certificate to a qualified person, immediately on receipt of an application and production of the relevant documents. Therefore, in most of the cases, an applicant can receive an EEA registration certificate quite quickly. Perhaps, within 1-2 weeks if not within 2-3 days. However, if the applicant has not submitted a correct application or failed to provide all the relevant documents then the application processing may experience delays or even refusal!

UK Permanent Residence Cards and Ceritificates

Apparently, for permanent residence, an EEA national needs to apply for a document certifying permanent residence. However, a non-EEA national needs to apply for a UK permanent residence card. Perhaps, there are different immigration routes available for acquiring permanent residence (aka settlement) in the UK. However, the most common route to acquire permanent settlement is to reside in the UK under the EEA regulations for a continuous period of 5 years. Accordingly, this may include time spent in the UK as:

  1. an EEA national, who is a qualified person in the UK
  2. the family member of a qualified EEA national
  3. the family member of an EEA national with a right of permanent residence
  4. a family member who has retained a right of residence under regulation 10

Can an applicant rely on more than one category?

Perhaps, an applicant can rely on residence in more than one of the above-listed categories to make up the 5 year period as long as that period was continuous. For instance, an EEA national may have resided in the UK for a period of time as the direct family member of an EEA national before becoming a qualified person in his/her own right. Moreover, an EEA national, or the family member of an EEA national, may also qualify for UK PR card or documents certifying permanent residence after a period of fewer than 5 years in certain circumstances. Perhaps, these may include:

  1. an EEA national, or the family member of an EEA national with whom they reside, who has ceased activity in accordance with regulation 5
  2. a family member of an EEA national worker or self-employed person who has died, where the conditions of regulation 15(1)(e) are met

The Continuity of Residence under the EEA Regulations

Perhaps, the overarching principle applied to the consideration of minor gaps in evidence is aligned to the Free Movement of Persons Directive (2004/38/EC) rule that continuity of residence is not broken by absences from the UK of up to 6 months in any 12 month period. However, the decision-maker can exercise evidential discretion on a case by case basis. For instance, if an applicant provides 5 years of P60s then this is usually a cogent piece of evidence for residence in the UK. Perhaps, if there is a period of job-seeking for less than 6 months and the period is immediately followed by strong evidence that the applicant was working then the decision-maker may conclude that the job-seeking activity was undertaken in accordance with the 2016 regulations.

Applying for permanent residence after 2 years

Yes, if an applicant (under the EEA Regulations) has continuously lived in the UK for 2 years and because of an accident or illness has to stop working as an employed or self-employed person. However, it is important that the applicant was either working or self-employed when he/she had to stop working due to an illness or accident.

Applying for permanent residence after 3 years

Yes, an applicant can apply for permanent residence under EEA Regulations after three years if he/she has:

  • reached the age for the state pension- however, the applicant needs to be self-employed or worked continuously in the UK for at least one year prior to reaching the state pension age
  • retired early- however, the applicant needs to work continuously in the UK for at least one year prior to early retirement
  • started work as an employed or self-employed person in another EEA country. However, the applicant usually needs to return to home in the UK once a week and has worked as employed or self-employed in the UK for three years continuously prior to the application

Supporting Documents for EEA National

Accordingly, an EEA national and their EEA and non-EEA family members and extended family member can apply for permanent residence in the UK under the EEA Regulations 2016, if the applicant:

  1. submits the application either online (if applicable) or by using the specified form EEA(PR)
  2. submits a correct and complete application for UK permanent residence card (non-EEA national) or document certifying permanent residence (EEA national)
  3. pays the relevant application fee – £65 for each applicant
  4. submits proof of identity, which is:
    • for EEA nationals – a valid original national identity card or passport issued by an EEA member country
    • for non-EEA nationals – a valid original passport
  5. provides evidence relating to a right to permanent residence, either:
    • because they have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years and had a right of residence under the regulations throughout that period or
    • because they fulfil one of the other qualifying conditions to obtain permanent residence

Supporting Documents for Family Members or EFMs

If an applicant is applying as a family member (FM) or extended family member (EFM) of an EEA national then needs to provide:

  1. a valid passport or valid national identity card for the relevant EEA national sponsor
  2. evidence, where relevant, to show they are, or their family member is, an EEA national worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity
  3. evidence, where relevant, that they were the family member of an EEA national worker or self-employed person who has died, they resided with that EEA national immediately before their death, and either:
    • the worker or self-employed person had resided continuously in the UK for at least the 2 years immediately before their death
    • the death was the result of an accident at work or an occupational disease

Moreover, an applicant with a retained right of residence needs to submit evidence that he/she has resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years.

Why an EEA national should apply for a document certifying PR?

Apparently, it is not a legal requirement for an EEA national to obtain a document certifying permanent residence in the UK. Perhaps, the right of permanent residence exists as a matter of EU law. However, for an EEA national, a document certifying permanent residence acts as confirmation of the rights of permanent residence in the UK. Therefore, enables an EEA national to easily re-enter the UK, prove the right to work and obtain various services in the UK.

What if an EEA national intends to apply for naturalisation?

If an EEA national intends to naturalise in the UK then it is necessary to obtain a document certifying permanent residence before applying for British naturalisation. And also if an EEA national intend to sponsor his/her spouse or civil partner’s application under the immigration rules.

UK Residence and EEA PR Cards Processing Time

Perhaps, in the light of the EEA Regulations 2016 and procedural requirements, the timelines for the issuance of EEA registration certificate and a document certifying permanent residence, aka EEA PR card, to EEA nationals is quicker than that for issuing the UK residence card, permanent residence card and derivative residence cards to non-EEA nationals and family members. However, if an EEA national apply online with the non-EEA family members, then the ILR processing time may be the same. Perhaps, within 3-5 weeks.

EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence Processing Time

In terms of Regulation 19(1) of the EEA Regulations 2016, Home Office needs to issue a document certifying permanent residence as soon as possible after receiving a valid application and relevant supporting documents. Therefore, in most of the cases, an applicant can receive an EEA document certifying permanent residence aka EEA PR quite quickly. Perhaps, within a week’s time if not within 2-3 days. However, if the applicant has not submitted a correct application or failed to provide all the relevant documents then the application processing may experience delays or even refusal!

UK permanent residence card processing time under Reg 18(3)

In terms of regulation 19(2) of EEA Regulations 2016, UK permanent residence card processing time for a non-EEA national with a right of permanent residence is within 6 months after the date of receiving a valid application. However, in most of the cases, the actual UK residence card processing time is usually within 4-8 weeks. Moreover, the Home Officer under the EEA Regulation usually issues a permanent residence card with a validity period of 10 years.

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UK Residence Cards and Registration Certificates Guidance Notes

Please note, due to Brexit, the UK residence card, EEA registration certificates, PR cards etc issued under EEA Regulations will not remain valid after Dec 31, 2020. Apparently, there will be no change to the rights of EU nationals living in the UK until June 30, 2021. However, if the UK leaves the EU without a deal the EU nationals rights living in the UK will not change until Dec 31, 2020. Therefore, in order to enable EEA national to continue their residence in the UK, the Home Office from March 29, 2019, has introduced a new route under Appendix EU.

Accordingly, the EEA nationals and non-EEA family members can apply for settled and pre-settled status in the UK under the new EU settlement scheme (EUSS). Moreover, a non-EEA family member can also apply for EUSS family permit from outside the UK without proof of entitlement. Perhaps, if they have a proof of entitlement then can also directly apply under the EU settlement scheme from outside the UK.

Who is an EEA National?

A person is a European Economic Area (EEA) national if he/she is a citizen of one of the following countries:

  1. Austria (EU 14)
  2. Belgium (EU 14)
  3. Bulgaria (EU 14)
  4. Croatia (EU Other)
  5. Republic of Cyprus (EU Other)
  6. Czech Republic (EU 8)
  7. Denmark (EU 14)
  8. Estonia (EU 8)
  9. Finland (EU 14)
  10. France (EU 14)
  11. Germany (EU 14)
  12. Greece (EU 14)
  13. Hungary (EU 8)
  14. Iceland (not a member of EU)
  15. Ireland (EU 14)
  16. Italy (EU 14)
  17. Latvia (EU 8)
  18. Liechtenstein (not a member of EU)
  19. Lithuania (EU 8)
  20. Luxembourg (EU 14)
  21. Malta (EU Other)
  22. Netherlands (EU 14)
  23. Norway (not a member of EU)
  24. Poland (EU 8)
  25. Portugal (EU 14)
  26. Romania (EU 14)
  27. Slovakia (EU 8)
  28. Slovenia (EU 8)
  29. Spain (EU 14)
  30. Sweden (EU 14)
  31. The United Kingdom

However, if a person has a permanent residence of EEA country and not the citizenship then the person is not an EEA national.

Freedom of movement rights for EEA nationals

A European Economic Area (EEA) National has the same freedom of movement rights as that of a European Union (EU) citizen. In the UK, the EEA Regulations extend free movement rights to all EEA and Swiss nationals. Switzerland is neither a member of the EU or the EEA. However, since June 2002, Swiss citizens have had rights which are similar to those of EEA nationals.

A valid application under the EEA Regulations

Certainly, an application for an EEA registration certificate, UK residence card, document certifying permanent residence (aka EEA PR card), permanent residence card and derivative residence card is only valid if it is:

  1. submitted on the specified application form, with all relevant sections completed
  2. accompanied by the relevant fee, documentation and evidence or proof required under EEA Regulations 2016
  3. not an invalid application due to a removal, deportation or exclusion order

An Invalid Application due to incomplete forms

Perhaps, an application for EEA registration certificate, UK residence card, a document certifying permanent residence (EEA PR card), permanent residence card and derivative residence card is rejected as invalid if it is incomplete. Accordingly, an applicant needs to complete all relevant sections of the application form. Moreover, when the following sections of the application form are incomplete the application is usually rejected as invalid:

  1. Always required: payment details (and payment of the fee), applicant’s details and applicant declaration
  2. Required, where relevant:
    • biometric information for non-EEA nationals
    • the details of the EEA sponsor for non-EEA family members
    • the declaration of the EEA sponsor
    • inclusion of family members, if the EEA national is applying online with the family members

An invalid Application due to an exclusion order

Apparently, an application for EEA registration certificate, UK residence card, a document certifying permanent residence (EEA PR card), permanent residence card and derivative residence card is invalid if the applicant is subject to:

  1. a removal decision under regulation 23(6)(b) of EEA Regulations 2016
  2. a deportation order under regulation 32(3) of EEA Regulations 2016
  3. an exclusion order under regulation 23(5) of EEA Regulations 2016

However, if a deportation or exclusion order against the applicant is not under the EEA Regulation 2016, then such an order does not make an application for EEA registration certificate, UK residence card, a document certifying permanent residence, permanent residence card and derivative residence card invalid.

Does the Home Office deduct administration charges?

Yes, from 18 March 2016, the Home Office retains an administration fee from in-country invalid applications for EEA registration certificate, UK residence card, a document certifying permanent residence, permanent residence card (EEA PR card) and derivative residence card. Accordingly, deducts £25 administration fee before refunding the application fee to the applicant.

Can Home Office waive the EEA application fee?

No, apparently there is no legal basis to waive the application fee for EEA registration certificate, UK residence card, a document certifying permanent residence, permanent residence card (EEA PR card) and derivative residence card. Accordingly, the Home Office does not process an application if an applicant fails to pay the correct fee. Perhaps, even in such cases where the Home Office has accepted an application in error!

Is the translation of documents necessary for EEA applications?

Apparently, the Regulation (EU) 2016/1191, aka Simplification Regulation, applies from Feb 16, 2019. And accordingly, the regulation removes the need to have documents legalised (i.e. no more apostilles, or their equivalents in the other EU member countries). Therefore, applicants no longer required to provide a certified English translation. Instead, on request from the applicant, the EU/EAA Member countries, provide the multilingual standard forms (MSFs) for onward submission. Please note, from Feb 16, 2019, the Home Office accepts MSFs in place of certified English translations of documents. Therefore, at the time of presenting the original documents, an applicant should also provide the MSFs for documents such as a birth, marriage, death, divorce or adoption certificate. Perhaps, there is no exhaustive list for MSFs.

Can applicants keep passport during EEA application processing?

Apparently, from April 9, 2019, the service has been discontinued. Perhaps, in the context of EEA residence document and PR card, the European Passport Return Service (EPRS) was an optional service, which allowed the applicants to keep his/her EU/EEA passport during the application processing. Accordingly, as per procedure, an applicant required to take his/her EU/EEA passport to a participating local authority for verification and copying. And the local authority then sends a copy of the applicant’s passport to the Home Office. Therefore, instead of submitting the original EU/EEA passport, the EPRS enabled an EEA/EU national to keep his/her passport during the application processing.

UK Residence Cards and EEA Registration Certificates Refusal Rate

During 2005-2017, a total of 994,383 applications made for the issuance of EEA registration certificates and UK residence Cards by EEA and non-EEA nationals, respectively. Accordingly, the Home Office issued a total of 740,881 registration certificates and UK residence cards. Moreover, 169,103 applications refused and 84,399 applications declared Invalid. Apparently, the invalid applications (84,399) account for 8.40% of the total applications (994,383) for EEA registration certificates and UK residence cards. Therefore, the overall success and refusal rate for EEA registration certificates and UK residence card as a percentage of total applications (994,383) was 74.50% and 17.01%, respectively. Perhaps, the refusal rate as a percentage of valid applications (909,984) is slightly higher at 18.58%.

UK Residence Card and EEA Certificates Refusal Rate
Year Applications Refusal Rate
2004 32,865 18.22%
2005 45,258 11.26%
2006 70,261 4.51%
2007 74,048 8.50%
2008 42,937 11.55%
2009 69,613 13.11%
2010 57,470 22.28%
2011 68,794 12.35%
2012 56,135 16.88%
2013 63,768 32.81%
2014 70,744 30.70%
2015 64,929 26.28%
2016 108,407 21.06%
2017 169,154 12.51%
Total 994,383 17.01%

UK Permanent Residence Card and Certificates Refusal Rate

From 2004 to 2017, 542,669 applications made for the issuance of documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards by EEA and Non-EEA family members, respectively. Accordingly, 401,519 documents certifying permanent residence and permanent residence cards issued during the period. And also 89,678 applications refused and 51,472 applications declared Invalid. Apparently, the invalid applications (51,472) account for 9.48% of the Total Applications (542,669) for EEA documents certifying permanent residence and UK permanent residence cards. Therefore, the overall success rate and refusal rate as a percentage of total applications (542,669) was 73.98% and 16.53%, respectively. Perhaps, the refusal rate as a percentage of valid applications (491,197) is slightly higher at 18.26%.

Permanent Residence Card and Documents Certifying Permanent Residence Refusal Rate
Year Applications Refusal Rate
2004 10,781 19.73%
2005 13,223 21.17%
2006 10,594 16.95%
2007 9,100 15.99%
2008 5,183 21.13%
2009 13,257 13.65%
2010 24,422 16.85%
2011 28,380 7.04%
2012 27,264 8.94%
2013 38,076 34.68%
2014 29,706 23.35%
2015 27,271 21.94%
2016 91,859 20.75%
2017 213,553 11.64%
Total 542,669 16.53%

Certificate of Application (COA) for UK Residence Cards

Apparently, a certificate of application (COA) is a document issued by the Home Office that confirms the holder has submitted an application for a UK residence or derivative residence card under the EEA Regulations 2016. Certainly, the COA does not confirm that the holder has a right of residence in the UK.

Types of COA

Perhaps, a short COA confirms receipt of an application but does not confirm any right to work for the applicant. However, a long COA not only confirms receipt of an application but also confirms that the applicant can take employment in the UK whilst their application is outstanding.

Biometrics Enrolment for a COA

From April 6, 2016, in terms of the Immigration (Provision of Physical Data) Regulations 2006, a non-EEA national applying for a UK residence card needs to enrol for biometrics for the issuance of a document confirming the right to reside in the UK under European Union (EU) law. Accordingly, if an applicant fails to enrol for biometric information then the application deems as an invalid. And in such instances, the Home Office does not issue a certificate of application (COA).

Apparently, an applicant has 15 days to enrol from biometrics. And the Home Office issues a COA after biometrics. Therefore, the time limit for issuance of COA mainly depends on how quickly an applicant went through the biometrics for the PR card application. Perhaps, usually, the Home Office issues either a long or a short COA within 2-3 working days after biometrics.

COA Timelines

Apparently, as per regulation 18(3) of the EEA Regulation 2016, on receipt of a valid application for a UK residence card, the Home Office issues a COA immediately. Moreover, as per regulation 20(2), on receipt of a valid application for a UK derivative residence card, the Home Office issues a COA as soon as possible.

Issuance of a Short COA due to a change in the identity

Perhaps, if the Home Office has evidence that the applicant has previously known by a different identity then the most recent identity for a UK residence card or derivative residence card, then the Home Office issues a short COA.

Long COA for Direct Family Members

Usually, the Home Office issues a long COA to an applicant applying for a UK residence or derivative residence card as a direct family member. Accordingly, an applicant can take employment in the UK during the application consideration process. However, in order to get a long COA, a direct family member needs to ensure the submission of:

  1. a valid passport
  2. a valid EEA national ID card or passport for the EEA national
  3. evidence of relationship to their EEA national. For instance, marriage or birth certificate
  4. evidence that the EEA national has either:
    • exercised free movement rights in the UK as a jobseeker, worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or student or
    • permanent residence in the UK
When a direct family member gets a short COA?

Apparently, if an applicant fails to submit all the requisite evidence then an applicant may get a short COA, which certainly does not confirm a right to take employment in the UK. However, in such cases, even after submission of the requisite evidence, the Home Office does not issue a long COA. Therefore, an applicant cannot take employment during the decision-making process.

Long COA for persons who have retained a right of residence

Certainly, Home Office issues a long COA to an applicant applying for UK residence card on the basis of the retained right of residence under regulation 10. However, the applicant needs to provide the following evidence with the application:

  1. a valid passport
  2. a valid national ID card or passport for the EEA national
  3. evidence of the termination of a relationship. For instance, decree absolute, a final order of dissolution of a civil partnership, death certificate. And also the evidence that the EEA national either:
    • exercised free movement rights in the UK as a jobseeker, worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person or student at the date of the termination
    • had permanent residence in the UK at the date of the termination
Exceptions

Perhaps, in some cases of retained rights, an applicant may not be able to provide either the EEA national’s identity or evidence they were exercising free movement rights at the date of the termination. Therefore, if an applicant is able to provide a reasonable explanation for the missing information then the Home Office may issue a long COA. For instance, if an applicant provides evidence that he/she was the victim of domestic violence by the EEA national then may get a long COA.

Short COA for Extended Family Members (EFM)

Apparently, the Home Office only issues a short COA to extended family members (EFM). Perhaps, irrespective of the evidence submitted by the applicant.

Long COA for Derivative Rights Applications

Apparently, Home Office issues a long COA to an applicant applying for UK derivative residence card. However, the applicant needs to provide the following evidence with the application:

  • a valid passport
  • a valid passport or EEA national ID card for the person they claim to derive a right from
  • the evidence of relationship to the person for whom they claim to be the primary carer

However, if the applicant fails to provide any of the above evidence with the application, then gets a short COA.

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