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Updated : 25/04/2017

FAQs - Permanent residence (>5 years) for EU nationals

  • I am Spanish and want to apply for a permanent residence certificate in Italy where I have been living for the past five years. From what date exactly will the 5-year period be counted?

    The 5-year period is counted from the date when you actually took up residence in Italy, not from when you first received a registration certificate.

  • I am French and want to apply for a permanent residence certificate in Germany, where I have been living for the past five years. However, I have often left Germany for 3-month periods, to see my family in France. Does that affect the continuity of my residence in Germany?

    NO - The continuity of your residence in Germany is not affected by temporary absences not exceeding a total of 6 months per year.


  • I'm Spanish and have lived in the UK for the past five years; I have applied for a document certifying my permanent residence there. The UK authorities have requested me to provide proof that I have been working, studying or supporting myself independently in the UK throughout the five years. Is this legal under the European rules?

    YES – To have the right of permanent residence in the UK, you must have been working, studying or supporting yourself independently in the UK, for a continuous period of five years.


  • I am a Finnish pensioner in Italy and I meet all the conditions for the right of residence. Why am I not given a permanent residence card?

    Living in a country for more than 3 months is often described as being a "permanent resident" there. However, this does not mean that you automatically acquire, under EU rules, the right of permanent residence. This will be granted after you've lived in Italy for five years.

  • How long is the certificate of permanent residence valid for, and when do I have to apply for it or renew it?

    The certificate of permanent residence should be valid for no less than 10 years. You must apply for it or for its renewal, before your previous certificate expires. You could be fined for failing to do so, if national rules so provide.

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