An EEA Family Permit is a document issued to non-EEA nationals living outside the European Union who would like to join their EEA national family members in the UK.
What are the main eligibility requirements for an EEA Family Permit?
To be eligible for an EEA Family Permit you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are a citizen of a country outside the European Economic Area (EEA);
- Your family member is an EEA national (but normally not British);
- You are related to the EEA national in one of the following ways:
- you are the family member of the EEA national such as their husband, wife, civil or unmarried partner, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild; or
- you are an extended family member of the EEA national, for example their unmarried partner in a durable relationship, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, cousin, etc.; or
- you are the main carer of a British citizen or a child who is an EEA national;
- Your EEA national family member is travelling with you to the UK; or
- Your family member is in the UK and, if they have lived in the UK for more than three months, is exercising Treaty rights as a worker, self-employed person, self-sufficient person, or as a jobseeker.
What else do I need to know about the EEA Family Permit?
An EEA Family Permit is normally issued for six months. EEA Family Permit holders can travel outside the UK within the six months validity period. However they must apply for a Residence Card after the expiry of the Family Permit to enable them travel outside and enter the UK.
Non – EEA family members are eligible to apply for a Family Permit free of charge. It is also mandatory that priority is given to Family Permit applications by the UK Visas & Immigration.
Settled and Pre-Settled Status in the UK for EEA Nationals and Families
Settled Status in the UK
You’ll usually get settled status if you’ve:
- started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (‘continuous residence’)
Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12-month period, except for:
- one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training, or an overseas work posting)
- compulsory military service of any length
Pre – Settled Status
If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence, you’ll usually get ‘pre-settled status’ instead. You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status, but you must apply again and get settled status if you want to stay in the UK indefinitely.
Changing Your Pre-Settled Status To Settled Status
You can apply to change your status as soon as you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. If you apply after April 2019, it will be free.
How our immigration Lawyers can help
Our immigration Lawyers consistently assist EEA nationals and their family members to relocate to, and settle in, the UK, including via the EEA Family Permit route.
Should you require expert advice on the requirements of the EEA Regulations, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for an EEA residence document, including an EEA Family Permit, or professional assistance with preparing an EEA residency application or appeal, our immigration Lawyers can assist.
We pride ourselves on being on your side and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We have expert immigration Lawyers, committed to providing unambiguous and reliable immigration advice to EEA nationals and their family members in a professional manner.
EEA nationals living in the UK in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016, their family members who are not EEA or Swiss citizens also have the right to live in the UK.
If you are the non-European family member of an EEA or Swiss national, and you have come to the UK with them, you can apply for a Residence Card. This is a document which confirms your right of residence under European law.
Your residence card may take the form of a Biometric Residence Permit and, it is normally valid for 5 years from the date when it is issued.
The applicant must submit a valid passport for the application for residence card to be approved. Also, the EEA national must be exercising Treaty rights in the UK and evidence of the same must be provided with the application.
According to EEA Regulations 2016, by law the Home Office is legally bound to consider and decide an application for a Residence Card within 6 months from the date of receipt of the application. Any delay or negligence in part of the Home Office in not deciding the application within six months can be challenged by way of Judicial Review in High Court.
EEA Documents Certifying Permanent Residence are issued to EEA nationals who have lived in the UK and exercised Treaty rights for a continuous period of 5 years or more. EEA Documents Certifying Permanent Residence confirm a right of permanent residence in the UK.
EEA Permanent Residence Cards are issued to non-EEA national family members and extended family members of EEA nationals who have exercised Treaty rights in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of 5 years. EEA Permanent Residence Cards confirm a right of permanent residence in the UK. In some instances non-EEA nationals may be able to apply for a Permanent Residence Card by virtue of retention rights.
EEA Derivative Residence Cards are issued to non-EEA nationals by virtue of derivative rights derived from EU law.
To be eligible for British citizenship (naturalisation) as an EEA national or family member of an EEA national, you will need to satisfy UK Visas and Immigration that:
- You are at least 18 years old;
- You have held a right of permanent residence for at least 12 months;
- You have been granted an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence or EEA Permanent Residence Card as confirmation of your right of permanent residence in the UK;
- You were in the UK on the day five years before the date of your application;
- You have not been absent from the UK for more than 450 days during the intervening five year period;
- You have not been in the UK in breach of the immigration laws at any time during that five year period;
- You have not been absent from the UK for more than 90 days during the 12 month period immediately preceding the date of your application;
- You are of good character;
- You have sufficient knowledge of the English, Welsh or Scottish Gaelic language;
- You have passed the Life in the UK Test:
- Your intentions are that if your application is successful your home (or principal home) will be in the UK.
If you are an EEA national or family member of an EEA national under the age of 18 then you may qualify for British Citizenship by Registration.
The Secretary of State has a residual discretion to treat some of the requirements as met even where they are not. However, the Secretary of State has no discretion to waive the requirement to have acquired a right of permanent residence.
EEA nationals and their family members applying for naturalisation as a British citizen must be able to produce an EEA Document Certifying Permanent Residence or EEA Permanent Residence Card as confirmation of their right of permanent residence in the UK. Applications for confirmation of permanent residency can take up to 6 months to be decided by the Home Office.