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CIH Scotland

New Arrivals


Long-term EEA residents

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser please click here for information more relevant to you.

If you are an EEA national or an EEA family member who has lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years (with no gaps of longer than six months) by making use of one of your EEA rights to reside, then you acquire a permanent right of residence. You can also acquire a permanent right of residence in less than five years if you worked in the UK before you retired.

What counts towards the five-year qualification period?

Any period in which you are resident in the UK in which you are:

Any period of residence in the UK in which you make use of a European Union right to reside will count towards the qualification period. However, some periods where your right to reside arises solely from UK legislation does not: for example, time spent before your country joined the EU may only count in certain circumstances.

Can a permanent right of residence be lost?

Once you have acquired a permanent right of residence it can only be lost if:

  • you are absent from the UK for over two years
  • the Home Office decide that you must be deported because you are a serious threat to public policy or public security (this may happen if you have been convicted of a serious offence and there is reason to believe you will reoffend).

Background Topics

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland