Updated : 15/04/2014
During their first 3 months in your host country, your family members who are not EU nationals cannot be required to apply for a residence card confirming their right to live there - although in some countries they may have to report their presence upon arrival.
After 3 months in your host country, your non-EU family members must register their residence with the relevant authorities (often the town hall or local police station).
To obtain a residence card, they will need:
No other documents may be requested.
The authorities should make their decision to issue a residence card or not within 6 months. If they do not do so, you can call on our assistance services. In any case, your non-EU family members cannot be expelled if their visa expired while their application is being processed.
If their application is rejected, the authorities must give them the decision in writing, stating the grounds for the decision and its implications, and specifying how your relatives/partner can appeal and by when.
If their application is accepted, the residence card will often be issued free of charge. If fees are charged, they may not be more than those charged to nationals for similar documents, such as identity cards.
The document should clearly state that it is the residence card of an EU national family member.
The residence card should be valid for 5 years (or for your planned length of stay, if shorter). Any change of address may need to be reported to the authorities.
In many countries, your family members will need to carry their residence card and passport at all times. If they leave them at home, they may be fined or temporarily detained but cannot be expelled just for this.
See also how to register your EU family members.Still need help?