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Visa & Administration

UK Residence Permit

If you reside in the UK for more than six months at a time, you may need a UK residence permit. We offer you a brief overview of UK residence permits, permanent residency, and derivative residence rights, and tell you where to turn if you need more information.

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:

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:

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

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:

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. 

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