ipmcrete wrote:...I am a little confused because when we first arrived here (22 years ago) we were both issued yearly permits. Then the next time, a 3 year one. I was issued a blue permit in 2010, but in 2012, my wife was issued a beige one. I do remember that there was a long delay in receiving her permit, as the police station had run out of them...
The law regarding residence permits/certificates has changed over the years, largely in response to new EU Directives, so it is not surprising that you have mixed experience. The current directive DIRECTIVE 2004/38/EC, which actually came into force around 2006, has two basic sets of rules. Under Article 7 you are supposed to apply for a Residence Certificate if you stay more than 3 months. It is beige and has indefinite validity, i.e. you don't need to renew it. Under Article 16, once you have lived here for more than 5 years you can apply for a Certificate of Permanent Residence. It is blue and also has indefinite validity. At first glance it doesn't matter which one you have BUT, if the final deal on Brexit mirrors the interim document issued in December, it may be easier to get a new residence certificate after Brexit if you have the blue one rather than the beige one. Some form of new certificate will be necessary because the two current certificates apply to EU citizens and UK citizens will no longer be EU citizens after Brexit.
Hope that helps to reduce the confusion.
PS The different treatment of your wife and you may also be explicable. The residence permit that preceded the current version expired after 5 years. It is possible that when you went to renew yours in 2010 the old one was still valid and so you got the blue permanent version. When your wife went in 2012 hers must have expired and so they issued a beige one. I had a similar experience. They seem to treat the permit as the only proof of residence so if your permit has expired then you cannot prove that you have been here 5 years and so you are not entitled to the permanent one. Obviously she has now had the beige one for more than 5 years so shouldn't have a problem getting a blue one.