Tue | Nov 12, 2019

Immigration Corner | Do I need a residence card to live in the UK?

Published:Tuesday | September 24, 2019 | 12:12 AM
John Bassie
John Bassie

Dear Mr Bassie,

Does a person need to have a residence card to prove that they can live in the United Kingdom (UK)? I am a little unsure if this is so and any advice would be appreciated.

SS

Dear SS,

Persons do not need to apply for a residence card to prove that they can live in the UK unless they are from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland and are extended family members of someone from the EEA or Switzerland.

Persons do not need to apply for a residence card as a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, but it can help those persons to re-enter the country more quickly and easily if they travel abroad. The residence card can be used to show employers that those persons can work in the United Kingdom and help to prove that the holder qualifies for certain benefits and services. Persons must apply for a residence card if they are extended family members.

A person must apply for a derivative right of residence card if he/she is the caregiver of an EEA citizen or United Kingdom national, the caregiver’s child, or the child of a former worker from the EEA and if he/she is currently in education.

A residence card usually lasts up to five years. The cost of applying is £65 for each person who is included in an application and those persons must also pay £19.20 to have their biometric information, fingerprints and a photo, taken. Those persons will be told how to do this after they have applied.

It should be noted that a residence card will not be valid after December 31, 2020. At that time, persons and their families can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the United Kingdom. However, if the residence card had expired prior to March 2019, persons could have reapplied for another residence card.

Please note that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the United Kingdom until June 30, 2021, or December 31, 2020 if the United Kingdom leaves the EU without a deal. At that time, persons and their family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the United Kingdom.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a justice of the peace, a Supreme Court-appointed mediator, a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, a chartered arbitrator and a member of the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (UK). Email: lawbassie@yahoo.com