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Updated : 27/01/2017

Permanent residence (>5 years) for EU nationals

UK referendum: For the time being, the United Kingdom remains a full member of the EU and rights and obligations continue to fully apply in and to the UK:

As EU national, you automatically acquire the right of permanent residence in another EU country if you have lived legally there for at least 5 years continuously.

You can then apply for a permanent residence document, which confirms your rights to live in the country where you now live permanently, without any conditions.

This is different from the registration certificate which is compulsory in many countries. The permanent residence document is not compulsory.

The permanent residence document can be handy when dealing with the authorities or for administrative formalities. The authorities may no longer require you to prove that you have a job, sufficient resources, health insurance, and so on.

If you ask the authorities for a permanent residence document, they must issue it as soon as possible and for no more than nationals pay for identity cards. If they do not, you can call on our assistance services.

The document should be valid for 10 years and is automatically renewable without any condition or requirement.

To get one, you must submit:

  • proof you have been living legally in the country for 5 years. Authorities could for example ask you to produce a valid registration certificate issued when you arrived and/or other supporting documents (such as work contracts, tax returns, rental contracts or utility bills)


  • proof you have stopped working and meet the conditions for earlier permanent residence.
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