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Immigration Corner | When is a UK residence card needed?

Published:Tuesday | June 18, 2019 | 12:35 AM
John Bassie
John Bassie

Dear Mr Bassie,

Could you please advise me whether I will need a UK residence card to live in the United Kingdom?


Dear CK,

A person does not need to apply for a UK residence card to prove that he/she can live in the United Kingdom unless from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland or from an extended family member of someone from the EEA or Switzerland. If a person already has a residence card, it will not be valid after December 31, 2020.

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. Persons and their families can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the United Kingdom.

Persons do not need to apply for a residence card as a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, but it can help them to re-enter the country more quickly and easily if travelling abroad; show employers that they are allowed to work in the United Kingdom; and help prove the holder qualifies for certain benefits and services.

Please note that persons must apply for a residence card if they are an extended family member. However, persons must apply for a derivative right of residence card if they are the caregiver of an EEA citizen or UK national, the caregiver’s child, or the child of a former worker from the EEA and is currently in education.

A residence card usually lasts up to five years. Please be aware if the residence card Immigration Corner | expires before March 2019, a person can reapply for another residence card. It costs £65 for each person included in an application. A person must also pay £19.20 to have their biometric information, fingerprints and a photograph, taken and he/she will be told how to do this after making the application.

Persons can apply for a residence card if they are both from outside the EEA and the family member, or extended family member, of an EEA national who is a permanent resident or ‘qualified person’.

A qualified person for a UK residence card is a person who is in the United Kingdom and to whom one of the following applies:

• They are working

• They are self-employed

• They are self-sufficient

• They are studying

• They are looking for work and meet the required legal conditions

Extended family members

A person can apply as an extended family member if he/she is either:

• The unmarried partner of the EEA national and is in a lasting relationship similar to a marriage or civil partnership.

• A relative of the EEA national or of their spouse or civil partner but he/she does not qualify as their family member.

Relatives include brothers or sisters, aunts or uncles, nephews or nieces and cousins. Relatives can also include grandchildren, parents and grandparents if the EEA national only has the right to reside as a student.

As well as being a relative of the EEA national, one of the following must be true:

• Before coming to the United Kingdom, the applicant was a dependent on the EEA national, or was a member of the EEA national’s household, and he/she is still dependent on them or are still a member of their household

• He/she needs the personal care of the EEA national or of their spouse or civil partneron serious health grounds

Extended family members must have a valid EEA permit or residence card to stay in the United Kingdom.

Please note that the application is considered based on the applicant’s individual circumstances and may not be approved for a residence card even if he/she meets the conditions.

John S. Bassie is a barrister/attorney-at-law who practises law in Jamaica. He is a jJustice 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: