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Getting a Residence Card in the UK

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We’ve been living in London for almost a year now! We moved, started to work (after graduating I managed to find a job as a web developer), got the residence permit, etc.

We arrived with the EEA Family Permit last December; it was valid for six months. To be able to stay here, my husband needed to apply for a residence card.

Applying for a residence card

There are two ways to do it. It is possible to send an individual application, but it is recommended for the EU citizen spouse to register for a QP (Qualified Person) certificate to support the application.

These are not cheap, individually cost £65 (in April 2017). We filled out the two separate applications on the computer, printed them out and sent them to the given address in one envelope. This is important as it can make the process a bit faster.

After sending the letter first, we got a confirmation that the payments were taken (this was very fast). My husband also had to wait for a letter about submitting his biometric information (photo, fingerprint and signature) and this costs an additional £19.20. Later he got a letter that states he can stay and work in the UK. (CoA – Certificates of Application)

After this, all we can do is wait, and according to the information online it can take up to six months. (Although, reading through stories on the internet, in many cases it’s even longer.)

Here is our timeline:

  • 10th April – Applications sent
  • 13th April – Payments are taken
  • 1st June – Biometric letter received
  • 2nd June – Biometric info sent (in Post office)
  • 16th June – CoA received
  • 2nd Sept – Passports and my Qualified Person card arrived
  • 5th Sept – Residence card arrived

In the end, it took less than five months for us! I am not sure why maybe because we could find full-time positions fast, and also we sent our applications together?

It is valid for five years, although I have been getting e-mails from the Home Office about what will happen after Brexit. As of now, it looks like we will need to apply and get new types of permits, but we don’t need to worry about that for at least two years from now.

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