European permanent residence card for UK (EEA3)

Today I got my European citizen permanent residence card from the UK Home Office. I had submitted the application with all relevant evidence on the 6th of February, so it only took 19 days to be processed (in reality just 6 working days as the card is dated 14th of February!). Kudos to them for their extremely effective service on this occasion.

I guess it helped a lot the way I organised the evidence in a structured way and the way I wrote the cover letter.

The application is free of charge. Solicitors charge 600 GBP + VAT in order to follow up with the application: “crooks” is the right name for them.

I would recommend to stay away from solicitors offering their services around applications that can be done without having to pay them to convince you of the fact you need their help. You either have the evidence for your application and can do it by yourself or you don’t, in which case you should not apply at all. Funding criminals would make of you a criminal as well.

About Luigi Di Fraia

I am a Senior DevOps Engineer so I get to work with the latest technologies and open-source software. However, in my private time I enjoy retro-computing.
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8 Responses to European permanent residence card for UK (EEA3)

  1. Silvia says:

    Hi Luigi,

    from your name I suppose you are Italian like me.
    I would like to know more about this procedure as I am planning to ask for the Permanent Residency as well.

    Which documents are to be provided for this application together with the EEA 3 Form?

    Thank you very much!

    • luigidifraia says:

      Hello Silvia,

      Obtaining a Permanent Residency card does make a big difference when you are trying to further apply for a VISA for e.g. a non-EEA partner or distant relative.

      The EEA3 application form changes every now and then, so it’s best you double check what the latest version is. The form alone does not give enough information on the documents to provide (it is not supposed to be comprehensive) but the guide that comes with it (guideeea.pdf) is fundamentally telling you all the details you need. There is a key sentence in the guide on page 6 (“Permanent residence for EEA nationals”):

      “The documentation you need to send us along with your application is the same as the evidence required for a Registration Certificate, except that you must provide proof that you have been resident in the United Kingdom for a continuous five-year period and that you were exercising treaty rights during this time.”

      So basically you need proof that you lived and worked in UK covering a period of at least 5 years back. Example:

      – your P60 forms for the last 5 years: these will cover evidence of you exercising treaty rights for the whole time;
      – tenancy agreements or utility bills (excluding mobile phone bills) or bank statements or Council Tax bills for the last 5 years: these will cover evidence of you living in UK for the whole time.

      If you have gaps in your employment status, or you have been moving in and out from UK during the last 5 years, or you are missing the documentation for certain periods, you’re better off checking the above mentioned guide for handling such gaps.

      Good luck with your application and remember it’s a really simple process if your documentation and cover letter are in good shape 🙂



  2. Guido says:

    Hi Luigi,
    I’m Italian as well, and want to apply for the Permanent Residency. All the info you have given so far is really helpful, thank you!!! Could you please let me know, more or less, what should i write in my cover letter? And did you send all the documents in a folder or different envelopes inside a BIG envelope? Thanks in advance for all your help

    • luigidifraia says:

      It’s been a while since this question was asked, but for the benefit of others, here’s my advice.

      The cover letter should simply describe what you are requesting and briefly indicate what you are providing as support documents. Group supporting documents using paperclips and label them e.g. as Attachment 1, 2, etc. using a sticky note on each group. In your support letter just refer to the attachments by number, as appropriate. E.g. “as proof of my continuous employment I provided my P60s for the last 5 years (see attachment number 1)”. Make sure the cover letter is on top of any other document in you envelope so that once opened the BA advisor reviewing your case gets a very clear overview of how everything fits together: whoever is going to review the applications will probably be glad that you saved him/her from having to figure out hot to put the bits together to support your application. Common sense, really.

  3. I have a question to ask about EEA3application form

    • luigidifraia says:

      I can’t actually advise on immigration matters. Besides, immigration rules keep changing all the time. Therefore, what I wrote in my reply to Silvia is still valid: check the guide provided for the form you have to fill in – that’s the most up-to-date and comprehensive piece of information you need to apply successfully.
      If you still have questions after reading the guide, I recommend reading it again in full rather than googling around forums.

  4. ADNAN says:

    Hi Luigi, i would like to have some information regarding EEA4 Or EEA3….currrently i have EEA2 visa for 5 years..which will end in 2018. but fortunately after having EEA2 visa my wife got pregnant and we have baby boy which is now 2 years old. she had work before and during pregnancy but she left work after the birth. for almost 2 years but now she is working as a self employed, what you advice us to do ? before we get into any mess like 5 years P60 which we dont have…..atleast 2 years gap will have though im working and can give 5 years P60.


    • luigidifraia says:

      It’s been 2 and 1/2 years since my initial post. Be advised that immigration rules change at a fast pace so I am not in a position to give up-to-date advice.
      I can only add: see my reply to Sunday above and good luck with your application! 🙂

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