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Entry Clearance Certificate


An Entry Clearance Certificate (ECC) is needed by anyone who wishes an overseas relative or friend to visit them or, more usually, to live with them permanently.

The person requesting the ECC is called a sponsor. The usual scenario is a husband or wife wishing to join their spouse in Preston, and the requests are commonly from the British High Commission in Bangladesh or Pakistan.

To apply for an Entry Clearance Certificate you should telephone our Contact Centre on 01772 906907.

Why do you need an ECC?

The ECC gives information about the accommodation where the sponsor intends to house their relative or friend. This certificate is needed to send to the British High Commission for immigration purposes.

To apply for an Entry Clearance Certificate you should telephone our Contact Centre on 01772 906907.  You will be required to pay a fee of £114.

A copy of an existing certificate is £20. This has to be no more than 2 years old and where there have been no changes to the accommodation. 

A copy certificate can be obtained by telephoning our Contact Centre on 01772 906907.

What we will check

We will carry out a brief inspection to make sure that the house is free from hazards and would not be overcrowded if another person was to stay there.

In line with local authorities nationally, we use the Housing Act 1985 to determine the 'permitted number' of occupiers.  We also take account of the requirements of the 2004 Housing Act, Part 1, to determine the presence of hazards, including hazards such as lack of privacy. 

This can prevent us accepting the use of a lounge as a sleeping room in some types of property.  Once this inspection has taken place a letter will be given to the sponsor which can be presented to the British High Commission.

There is no legal requirement for these visits to be undertaken by Housing Standards, however, they are felt to be an important service for sponsors, for example for reuniting families.

Two standards are used to work out if a home is overcrowded or not:

  • the room standard
  • the space standard

The Room Standard

This standard is not met if two persons of the opposite sex who are not living together as man and wife must sleep in the same room.

In making this assessment only persons of 10 years of age or older are counted. Children under 10 must be ignored. In practice this means a family can occupy a house with 3 sleeping rooms.

The husband and wife could occupy one room, all the male children could occupy one room, and all the female children could occupy one room.

The Space Standard

This standard is not met if the number of persons sleeping in a home exceeds the permitted number.
Persons: The number of persons is calculated as follows:

  • children under 1 year old = 0 person
  • children aged 1 to 9 years old = ½ person
  • children aged 10 or over and adults = 1 person

Permitted numbers are calculated by using both Table 1 and Table 2.

The lowest number worked out is the permitted number.

Note: The rooms concerned in both tables are those available for sleeping purposes. Only rooms with a floor area of at least 50 square feet (4.65 square metres) are counted: smaller rooms must be ignored.

Table 1- number of rooms to number of persons sleeping in home

Number of RoomsNumber of Persons
5 or more

2 persons for each room

Table 2 - floor area of room to number of persons sleeping in room

Floor Area of RoomNumber of Persons
110 sq ft (10.22 sq m) or more2
90 sq ft (8.36 sq m) to 110 sq ft (10.22 sq m)
70 sq ft (6.5 sq m) to 90 sq ft (8.36 sq m)1
50 sq ft (4.65 sq m) to 70 sq ft (6.5 sq m)½

Fees payable

  • Initial certificate - 114.00
  • A re-dated copy of an existing certificate, with no alterations, issued within the previous 2 years - 20.00
  • A re-measure after 2 years - 114.00
  • A certificate not collected - this cost will be added to any future certificates - 38.00
  • Charge for an aborted certificate without adequate notice - 20.00

Please note if you make an error and select the wrong amount we will charge you the difference before we release the certificate.

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