Rules On EU Residence Card Wait Times Absent From Guidelines
EU law concerning wait times on residence cards may not have been properly conveyed to Home Office caseworkers dealing with such applications.
According to the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 on receipt of such an application the “residence card shall be issued no later than six months after the date on which the application and documents are received”.
However, this obligation is not mentioned in the Home Office’s instructions to its caseworkers. There is also no mention of being able to request certain EU free movement applications be speeded up after three months of waiting.
There is mention of ministers being able to look into applications that have been drawn to their attention by MPs, representative groups or by individuals.
Cases can be prioritised in certain instances such as if refusal of the priority request is likely to create more work, if there is evidence the case has been mishandled, the applicant has secured the agreement of a minister or senior official to priority consideration or the applicant has been invited to make a new application.
If applicants have been waiting a long time there is guidance on what to do. An email address is provided and applicants need to include their full name, date of birth and nationality, passport number, case reference number, contact telephone number and delivery address.