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Last checked: 04/05/2020

Permanent residence (>5 years) for non-EU family members

Affected by Brexit?

Questions and Answers – the rights of EU and UK citizens, as outlined in the Withdrawal Agreement

On 1 January 2021, the rules for EU citizens living in or moving to the UK will change. The same applies to UK nationals living in or moving to an EU country.

I have permanent residence in the UK/EU or will acquire it during the transition period

In principle, you and your family members will continue to have permanent residence in your host country. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must however apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted a new residence status. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities as soon as possible if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.

I reside in the UK/EU but am not yet entitled to permanent residence

In principle, you and your family members will continue to keep your current residence in your host country. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must however apply to the EU settlement scheme to be granted a new residence status. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities as soon as possible if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.

I want to move to the UK/EU

You and your family members may move to the UK or to an EU country under the current EU rules until 31 December 2020. This includes non‑EU family members. In the UK, you must then apply to the EU settlement scheme. In the EU, check with your host country’s authorities whether you have to register and if it is mandatory to apply for a new residence status.

I want to go to the UK/EU for a short stay

Current rules on reporting presence, registering your residence abroad, registering your EU family, registering your non-EU family continue to apply until at least 31 December 2020.

I need help

If you think that your rights under EU law are not being respected, contact our assistance services.

Detailed information on the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement and citizen’s rights

Towards the end of their 5th year of continuous legal residence your non-EU family members should apply for a permanent residence card in the EU country where you live.

The permanent residence card is often issued free of charge (or for the same price as identity cards for nationals). It should be valid for 10 years and is automatically renewable without any condition or requirement.

When applying for their permanent residence card, your non-EU family member must give proof that they've been living legally in the country for 5 years - for example, using a valid residence card issued 5 years ago.

If you have problems getting a permanent residence card for your non-EU family members, you can call our assistance services.

Even if they hold a permanent residence card, your non-EU family member may still need a visa to travel within the EU. Find out more about travel documents for non-EU family members.

FAQs

EU legislation

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