Permanent Residency has always been highly sought after by migrants to the UK. A Certification of Permanent Residence has become even more desirable in the midst of the current uncertainty surrounding the position of the UK with regards to the European Union. An application for certification of Permanent Residency may appear at the outset to be relatively straightforward process, requiring a person to have lived in the UK and exercised Treaty Rights therein for a continuous period of five years. However, many applicants are encountering difficulties in meeting the requirements and proving their status as a permanent Ki Residences.

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An applicant must be continuously resident in the UK for a period of five years. There are limitations on the amount of time one can be absent from the UK to qualify as resident. An absence of 6 months or less, or in special circumstances of 12 months or less, will not interfere with residency. Any absences during a relied upon period should be detailed and evidenced in an application.


The exercise of Treaty Rights can be a confusing phrase, it is not limited to employment alone, and indeed, in certain instances, employment has not been considered sufficient due to migrant worker registration requirements. The exercise of Treaty Rights includes, working, job seeking, being self-employed or self-sufficient or studying in the UK. There are various restrictions attached to each category, with each requiring substantial and continuous proof.

Partner or Spouse

Where an applicant is dependent on the rights of an EEA spouse or partner in their application, the residency and employment criteria will have to be met by the EEA spouse or partner.

Comprehensive Health Insurance

One of the biggest pitfalls that we see is the Comprehensive Health Insurance requirement for those asserting that they were self-sufficient or a student for a period of time. The requirement for Comprehensive Health Insurance is not negated by entitlement to treatment under the NHS nor by the payment of National Insurance contributions. Comprehensive Health Insurance must cover the required period (as either a self-sufficient person or a student), be from a UK provider and provide extensive cover. There are circumstances where a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will suffice for this purpose, however this is dependent on both the validity of the card for the period in question and the issuing state.

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