I am a non European, married with an European. We are now living in UK. I have the EEA Family Permit visa for 6 months and it expires in June. I want to ask for the Residence Card in May, but the problem is that exists the possibility that I have to travel outside UK in June and/or August. I read that the process takes 6 month (if I ask for it at mid of May, it would be ready for mid of November), leaving you without passport and without any possibility to travel outside UK.
Also, I read that I can ask for my passport back, but the problem is that I have to resend it and the process would take more time (sometimes another 6 months).
I am not sure if that possibility I described before, is the same as this passport return option explained in the following link: https://www.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.They make a certified copy of a passport and it is given back to you. I am not sure this service can be used when you ask for the EEAFM Residence Card.
Has anyone done this before?
Do you know if there is any possibility to keep your passport meanwhile I am waiting for the UK EEAFM Residence Card?
When is the best time to ask for the Residence Card?