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EEA2 visa – Work and live in the UK as a family member of an EU citizen

I get a lot of traffic to this blog due to posts I have made about the EEA2 visa. The posts I have realised don’t provide much information and the amount of traffic suggests people are desperate for information, so I have prepared this more comprehensive post about the EEA2 visa and the process for applying.

What is the EEA2 Visa:

The EEA2 visa is available to family members of an EU national that aren’t EU citizens themselves. Under current UK law EU citizens have the right to abode and work in the UK. The visa is granted so that family members of an EU citizen can also live and work with the EU citizen in the UK. N.B. The visa only grants right to reside and work in the UK whilst the EU citizen is also in the UK, so you couldn’t work in the UK whilst your wife lives in Poland.

The visa I have was granted for five years and allows me to enter and leave the UK without restriction and allows me to work in the UK. It also allows me to register for a NI number and access NHS services.

Who is Eligible:

I believe any immediate family member, be that a wife, husband, child or parent of an EU national is eligible to apply for the visa. The visa also recognises civil partnerships (gay and lesbian relationships) and defacto partnerships. It is more difficult to establish you are in one of these relationships obviously, though it is not impossible – I was granted the EEA2 visa after proving that I have been in a marriage like relationship with m girlfriend for more than two years.

To prove that I was in a marriage like relationship with my girlfriend I had to provide the following documents:

  • Wills dated from two years ago that bequeathed belongings to each others
  • Lease agreements with both our names on them dating back more than two years
  • Joint bank statements dating back more than two years
  • Mobile phone records recording calls to each other from more than two years back
  • Digital photos that showed us together over a long period of time

Excerpts from the UK Border agency Website that highlights more information on the EEA2 visa are pasted below:

Registration certificates

A registration certificate is a document issued to EEA nationals that confirms that person’s right of residence under European law. You are not required to have a registration certificate to enter, live or work in the United Kingdom.

If you are a national of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Slovenia you are not eligible to apply for a registration certificate until you have completed 12 months of continuous employment in the United Kingdom.

Applications for a registration certificate should be made using application form EEA1. You can download it from the right side of this page.

Residence cards

Family members who come to the United Kingdom with an EEA national but who are not themselves a national of an EEA country can apply for a residence card, with some exceptions (see Family member residence stamp). The card confirms that person’s right of residence under European law. Residence cards are normally valid for five years and take the form of an endorsement that is placed in the holder’s passport.

Applications for a residence card should be made using application form EEA2. You can download it from the right side of this page.

Family member residence stamp

Residence cards are not immediately available to all family members. Family members who are not themselves nationals of an EEA country and who are in the United Kingdom with a national of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia or Slovenia are not eligible to apply for a residence card until the national of those countries has been employed continuously in the United Kingdom for 12 months. Until the 12 months is completed, a family member who is not an EEA national can apply for a family member residence stamp to confirm his/her right of residence under European law.

Applications for a family member residence stamp should be made using application form FMRS. This can be downloaded from the right side of this page.

Permanent residence

After you have lived in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of five years you can apply for confirmation of your permanent residence. You will need to have been living in the United Kingdom and in employment, self-employment, studying or self-sufficient throughout the five-year period.

For your residence in the United Kingdom to be considered continuous you should not be absent from the United Kingdom for more than six months each year. Longer absences for compulsory military service will not affect your residence. Additionally, a single absence of a maximum of 12 months for important reasons such as pregnancy, child birth, serious illness, study, vocational training or posting overseas will not affect your residence.

EEA and Swiss nationals will be issued with a document that confirms they are permanent residents in the United Kingdom. This document has no expiry date. Applications by EEA and Swiss nationals should be made using application form EEA3. You can download it from the right side of this page.

Non-EEA nationals will be issued with an endorsement that is placed in the holder’s passport. This endorsement is valid for 10 years. Applications from non-EEA nationals should be made using application form EEA4. You can download it from the right side of this page.

Making an application

There is no charge for applications under European law. You should make sure you use the correct application form. All application forms are available on the right side of this page.

The application forms contain details of all the information that you must supply to support your application. You must send the original documentation with your completed application form.

From 01 September 2008, all completed European application forms should be sent to:

European Applications
Home Office
PO Box 306
Dept 45
Liverpool
L2 0QN

Applications for registration certificates from EEA nationals can be made in person at our public enquiry office in Croydon, but this service is in high demand and appointments are booked up approximately two months in advance. You will need to make an appointment before you visit.

Details of the location of the public enquiry office, opening times and how to make an appointment can be found in the Contact us section.

Processing times

The time it takes to process your application will depend on the type of application you make and how you submit it.

If you make your application in person at Croydon public enquiry office, we will usually process your application on the same day.

Transfer of residence card or stamp

If you are issued with a new passport and want your residence card or family member residence stamp transferred you will need to make a new application. You should complete the appropriate application form and provide the required supporting documents.

How do I apply:

The link to the EEA2 visa application for is here – http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk/sitecontent/applicationforms/eea/eea2.pdf

Some of the links below may be of use for people looking into the EEA2 visa:


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