Legal disclaimer

Important: This note is provided for information only and should not be taken as legal advice or relied upon as such. The information and commentary does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. You should seek specific legal advice on your personal circumstances if required and please note that the University is unable to provide personal immigration advice.

Permanent Residency

This page sets out some guidance regarding permanent residency. This is the status that is currently optional for EU citizens in the UK. It remains open, however, please be aware if you wish to stay in the UK then you will subsequently have to apply for settled status before June 2021. See settled status for further information.

We appreciate that this information will not be applicable to all employees from EEA countries but as it is still possible to apply for permanent residency we felt it was important to keep this webpage live.

Please continue to send us your questions and suggestions on how we can support you to humanresources@exeter.ac.uk.

Registration certificates will not be a valid proof of residence after 31 December 2020. You will still need to apply for ‘settled status’ to continue living in the UK after June 2021 even if you already have a registration certificate.

If you do not yet have 5 years living in the UK for five continuous years as a Qualified Person, you may wish to apply for a Registration Certificate.

It is not necessary to have a Registration Certificate to live and work in the UK but it may help if you subsequently apply for confirmation of Permanent Residence. This document will be valid from the date it is issued.

An application for a Registration Certificate costs £65. The University will not reimburse this fee.

If your application is successful, you must also provide your biometric information (fingerprints and a photo) at a cost of £19.20

If you need any documents from the University to support your application, please contact humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

Additional information

View the Checklist - Registration Certificate to check you have all the relevant documents needed to apply for a registration certificate.

Form EEA(QP) - Form for an EEA or Swiss national to apply for a registration certificate to confirm the right to live in the UK as a qualified person:

Guidance notes for the EEA (QP) form

You can now apply for a registration certificate online, but only for yourself.

Form EEA(FM) - Form for a family member of an EEA or Swiss national in the UK to apply for a registration certificate or residence card:

Guidance notes for the EEA(FM) form

As an EEA or Swiss national, you are deemed to automatically acquire Permanent Residence in the UK after living here for five continuous years in line with the European Union laws relating to free movement rights that were in force during the five year period.

In summary, you automatically acquire Permanent Residence in the UK after living here for five continuous years as a Qualified Person. A qualified person is a:

  • Worker
  • Jobseeker
  • Self-employed person
  • Self-sufficient person (plus having comprehensive sickness insurance)
  • Student (plus having comprehensive sickness insurance)

So, for example, you will automatically acquire Permanent Residence in the UK if you lived here for 3 years as a student (provided you had comprehensive sickness insurance) followed by two years in employment.

Permanent Residence is the equivalent to Indefinite Leave to Remain. This means that there are no restrictions attached to your leave in the UK and you are free to exit and enter as you wish, provided you are not out of the country for more than 2 years at which point Permanent Residence is lost.

Additional information

View Home Office guidance (PDF) about who qualifies as an EEA national.

Comprehensive sickness insurance is 

  • Insurance that covers the costs of the majority of medical treatment they may receive in the UK.
  • Policy might contain certain exemptions but must cover medical treatment in the majority of circumstances
  • Does not include:
    • Cashback health schemes (e.g. dental, optical, prescription charges)
    • Travel insurance policies
    • Access to the NHS (even though EEA nationals 
      are still permitted to use the NHS)

As evidence you should provide one of the following for the entire relevant period:

  • a comprehensive private medical insurance policy document
  • a valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (formerly form E111) issued by an EEA Member State (not the UK)
  • form S1 (formerly E106, E109, E121)
  • form S2 (formerly E112)
  • form S3

You automatically acquire Permanent Residence in the UK after living here for five continuous years as a Qualified Person (please see the above section on what a qualified person is). You do not need to apply for a document (Residence Card) which confirms that you have Permanent Residence but you may wish to do so and this may become necessary in the future, dependent on the outcome of the negotiation on the UK’s exit from the EU.

Please note that you will still need to apply for settled status before June 2021 even if you have confirmation of permanent residency. There will be no fee for this if you already have confirmation of permanent residency. You can apply for confirmation of permanent residency covering any of the five years you have spent in the UK as a qualified person. Therefore this type of leave can be back dated, for example if you have spent 15 years in the UK, you can claim for the first five years. You will need to be able to confirm that you have remained resident in the UK for the subsequent 10 years.

If you wish to apply for British Citizenship following confirmation of permanent residency, it may be worth considering applying for 6 years so that you do not have to wait the 12 months following the confirmation to apply for British Citizenship.

An application for a document certifying permanent residence costs £65. The University will reimburse the cost of your application. This payment will be made through the payroll and will be taxable.

Claim form for reimbursement of fee for confirmation of Permanent Residence - PD129 Permanent Residency Claim Form.

If you need any documents from the University to support your application, please contact humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

Additional information

View our Permanent Residence Checklist to check you have all the relevant documents needed to apply for permanent residency.

View more information about applying for confirmation of Permanent Residence on the Government website.

Form EEA(PR) - Form for an EEA or Swiss national, a non-EEA or non-Swiss family member of an EEA or Swiss national, to apply for a document certifying permanent residence or permanent residence card in UK.

Guidance notes for the EEA(PR) form

Draft PR(EEA) Cover Letter to use when applying for confirmation of Permanent Residence.

You can now apply for confirmation of permanent residency online, for yourself and close family members (if applying at the same time).

The process is not wholly online as you have to print out and send the form in with supporting documents. There is an online video which outlines the pros and cons of this service available. Please note that this is not a government or University endorsed web site.

There is also a European passport return service available with the online process only. Click for details of the Devon office.There is not currently a Cornwall office.