My wife has a family permit visa and we're now applying to get an EEA residence permit.

It's required that we send our documents to prove identity:

Proof of identity and nationality, such as a valid passport, travel document or national identity card

But it also says

Your application may take up to 6 months.

Does that mean we'll stay 6 months without our passports? That's not a huge deal for me as I have my EU ID card but her only valid document here is her passport. What else can we use as a valid document for her if they'll keep it for 6 months?

  • Did you find some information? I saw this link: gov.uk/government/collections/european-passport-return-service In this link they say: The European passport return service is for EEA, Swiss nationals and their family members to keep their passport while their online application is being processed. I am not sure if it works for your wife and the process of EEA FP residence card. Apr 22, 2017 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


If you are an EU citizen (which is possible as you have an European ID Card) you might be able to use the European passport return service. It's available if at least one of you is an EEA Citizen, in which case you can go to a local authority and show your passports, which they will copy, send to the Home Office and then give back to you. This would mean you can both apply for the appropriate Visas, and still have your passport with you while they process the application.

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