European Union Free Movement

Do EEA Family members have right to work during renewal or application of Residence Card?

European Regulations for Immigration define a “family member” (a spouse, civil partner or a direct dependent relative of either EEA national or her/his spouse, a child or parent). In order to allow the EEA/EU National to enjoy the Right to Family life under article 8, it also imposes an obligation on the member country that “an EEA family permit issued under this regulation must be issued free of charge and as soon as possible” (Regulation 12(6) of the Regulations).

However due to the lack of a defined timeline it is likely to affect the lives of the EEA/EU nationals and their partners who are applying for their Residence Card or renewals of the same.

Also given that the employers are obligated to carry out right to work checks on their employees and if there is an element of doubt then more often than not the employers will ask the employee to take a leave of absence or leave their jobs completely.

If an application is pending for renewal, the Home Office takes the position that, “the person in such a situation has a right to reside but not the right to work during the time in which he did not apply for his EEA(PR)“. Care must be taken to understand that the Home Office is implying this pertains to the period between the expiry of the residence card and the application date.

The immigration rules Regulation 21 of the EEA Regulations describes the procedure for applications for issue or renewal of family members’ residence card, and states that the applicant must be in the UK. It does not, however, address explicitly applicants’ rights during the process.

However proven cases suggest that as long as the EEA national sponsor remains a “qualified person” in the UK and the relationship is subsisting, the non-EEA national will have a right to reside and work.

The Home Office will also normally provide, the Certificate of Application (if the applicant had made an application either for a new residence card or for EEA(PR)) confirming these rights to stay and work in the UK and relays this information for the benefit of a current or prospective employer. However, the Certificate of application is issued after the submission of bio metrical data and there is likely to be a significant delay in the confirmation of such rights.

If you have a query regarding your EEA Residence Permit or would like to make an application for Residence card, Registration Certificate or Permanent Residence, you can contact our Experts UK Immigration Consultant. If you would like to apply for entry clearance for your non-EEA Family member we can help for that too.

We have offices in India and UK. In India Our UK EEA Family Permit visa consultant based in Mumbai | Delhi | Gurgaon | Chandigarh | Vadodara | Bangalore.

Call on +91 98191 27002 or email us at for assistance of your right to live and work in UK.

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By Hemang Laaheru

Hemang Laaheru, Director of Marketing and Operations heads the Mumbai Office. Hemang has a MBA in Strategic Marketing from the University of Hull (UK) and has lived and worked in UK for half a decade. In addition he has worked in Strategic roles for companies like DHL Global Forwarding and Goldshield Group plc. He has extensive experience in the internationally including roles in operations, business development, expatriate management, and compliance. Hemang is responsible for existing and prospective client relationships for Smart Move Global Visas worldwide.