Renewal of a permanent residence document

When making an application for renewal of a permanent residence document, what kinds of evidence should an EEA national provide to show they have not lost their right of permanent residence, in circumstances where they have not been absent from the UK for more than two consecutive years but they have not been residing in the UK?

‘PR acquired after the date for transposition of the Citizens’ Directive (30 April 2006) will ‘only be lost by absence from the UK of more than 2 consecutive years’. However, various decisions can be taken under the EEA Regs 2016 against persons with PR that would have the same effect, eg residence documentation confirming PR can be revoked, or a removal decision can be made, if the decision is justified on grounds of public policy, public security or public health. In practice, if any such decision is taken against a person with PR (who will benefit from enhanced protection under regulation 27), they will in all likelihood be excluded for more than two years, and therefore their PR will be lost anyway.’

As confirmed in the Home Office’s ‘European Economic Area nationals: qualified persons’ guidance:

‘If an EEA national has the right of permanent residence in the UK they will only lose this right if they are absent from the UK for more than 2 consecutive years. There are no other conditions they must satisfy in order to continue to have this right.’

As set out above, the key issue is absence, not residence. An EEA national who has not been absent for two consecutive years after the acquisition of should not be refused an application for renewal of their permanent residency (PR) document.

The evidence an applicant may be able to provide in this type of application will be highly fact-sensitive, and will depend on the nature, extent and timing of their activities in the UK since they acquired a right of PR.

Any evidence which confirms presence in the UK and showing that absence has not extended beyond ‘two consecutive years’ would be a good start. This might include any of the following:

  1. passport stamps showing entry and exit from the countries the person was in before or after being in the UK
  2. email correspondence showing travel itineraries to and from the UK
  3. flight tickets showing travel to and from the UK
  4. hotel/accommodation bookings for time spent in the UK
  5. statements from family or friends who with whom the applicant stayed during their periods in the UK
  6. receipts for goods or services bought during trips, or bank statements showing the same

The applicant should provide evidence of any activities they undertook while they were in the UK. What the evidence might comprise specifically will depend on the activities that were undertaken.

A statement from the applicant might also be provided explaining the reasons that they have been residing outside of the UK (if, for example, for compassionate or work-related reasons), and spelling out any periods of time spent in the UK and referring to the evidence provided. Details of the person’s absences from the UK since they were issued with their PR document should also be included on form EEA(PR) or its online equivalent.

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