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What Is the EU Residence Card?

what is the eu residence card for europe

An EU Resident card is a document that can be obtained for the family member of a European Union citizen. Third-country nationals can be granted a long-term EU residence permit if they meet eligibility requirements. A long-term EU resident permit allows its holder to stay in a European country permanently. However, it should be noted that if an EU resident card is given in France, for example, its holder is authorized to live in France, but not in another EU country. Eligibility requirements for a residence permit are specified by the government of each country.

If you are a US citizen and wish to move to Europe, you may qualify for an EU residence permit, however, you will need to make sure that you meet eligibility requirements first. US citizens can currently travel to the Schengen Area without the need of applying for a visa. As of 2021, before traveling to Europe, US citizens will be expected to enroll in the ETIAS system and obtain a travel authorization. Launching the ETIAS visa waiver is one of the measures that the EU wishes to implement in order to protect the region’s external borders.

To apply for an ETIAS travel authorization, American travelers will need a valid passport, an email address and a debit or credit card. Obtaining an ETIAS will be fairly simple, applicants will need to complete an online form with their personal details and information about their trip. Once approved, the ETIAS will be valid for a 3 year period for stays of up to 90 days. An ETIAS authorization does not grant its holder the right to live in the Schengen Area.

American citizens who wish to live in the EU are expected to follow European countries regulations and norms. If you are a US citizen related to a European Union citizen you may qualify for an EU residence card. Please make sure you revise the requirements and documents needed before requesting an EU residence permit.

How to Obtain an EU Residence Card

If you want to obtain an EU residence card you will need:

  • A valid passport.
  • Your registration certificate as an EU national or any other proof of your residence in the country.
  • Proof of the family relationship with you.
  • For (grand)children, proof they are under 21 or dependent on you.
  • For (grand)children, proof they are dependent on you.
  • For other family members, proof that they are dependent on you or there are serious health grounds requiring you to take personal care of them.
  • For unmarried partners, proof of a long-term or durable relationship with you.

Authorities should make a decision to issue a residence card within 6 months. A non-EU family member cannot be expelled from Europe if their visa expired while their application is being processed.

In 2004, the European Parliament and the Council defined the conditions of the residence card in articles 9 to 11. It establishes that “the right of residence of family members of a Unions citizen who are not nationals of a Member State shall be evidenced by the issuing of a document called ‘residence card of a family member of a Union citizen’ no later than six months from the date on which they submit the application.”