Visa & Administration
UK Residence Permit
Biometric Residence Permits
A UK residence permit applies to expats who extend their stay to six months and beyond. Most of them will require a biometric UK residence permit which holds biographic details and biometric information. Please remember that you can only apply for a biometric residence permit if you want to:
- extend your temporary stay to six months or more.
- apply for an indefinite leave to remain.
- transfer your visa from an old passport to a new document, using form NTL or TOC.
- apply for a certificate of travel or a Convention travel document (1951 refugee or 1954 stateless person).
You can submit your application to extend your stay online or by post. Once the UK Border Agency has received your documents, they will send you a notification letter. You can then visit any post office in the UK and enroll your biometric information there. Alternatively, you can visit a public enquiry office and apply for a biometric UK residence permit there. Please remember that, either way, it will take a while until your residence permit application is processed.
If you find that any of the information on you biometric residence card is not correct, you should get in touch with the UK Border Agency within 10 days. Otherwise, you will have to pay for a replacement. Contact the UK Border Agency for more information.
Permanent Residence for European Citizens
After five years, expats from EEA member states can apply for a permanent UK residence permit. The registration certificate you will then receive proves that you have the legal right to reside in the UK. This is important if you want to act as a sponsor or want to support a family member who is not an EEA national in their application for a residence card. After all, you will need to prove that you are a legal resident and that you are exercising treaty rights in the UK.
You can apply for a permanent UK residence permit by completing the application documents and paying the application fee which can amount to between £55 and £220, depending on the number of people on whose behalf you apply. This is what you need to submit for a successful application:
- The application fee
- A valid passport or ID
- Evidence that you are eligible to apply
- Two passport-sized pictures
Please remember that it can take the UK Border Agency up to six months to process your application for a permanent UK residence permit. So plan ahead and try to be patient.
Derivative Right of Residence
Although non-EEA citizens do usually not qualify to apply for a UK residence permit, they may still have “derivative rights of residence”. This might be the case even if you do not fall under the free movement directive. You qualify for derivative rights of residence if
- you are the primary caretaker of a British child or a dependent adult
- you are the primary caretaker of an EEA national child, exercising free movement rights in the UK
- your parents are EEA national workers and you receive an education in the UK
- you are the primary caretaker of an EEA national worker and a child receiving an education in the UK
- you are the child of a primary caretaker, mentioned in the categories above, and under 18 years of age
Please remember that you are only eligible to stay in the UK based on your derivative rights of residence, as long as you fulfill the qualifications above. If your situation changes, you may lose your derivative right of residence. You can apply for your derivative residence card, which grants you the right to work and reside in the UK, by submitting the following:
- a completed DRF1 form
- a fee of £55
- your passport
- evidence that you are eligible to apply for derivative rights
- two passport-sized photographs
You can submit your application documents by mail. If you are unsure about your application or whether you qualify, please contact the UK Border Agency. You cannot apply for a permanent UK residence permit during this time.
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.