Joining your EEA family member
The European Economic Area (EEA) family permit has made it substantially easier for non-EEA family members to move around EU member states. Eligible EEA nationals with either the intention of, or currently living in the UK on a long-term basis may sponsor their non-EEA family member to accompany or join them in the UK. Despite being administered by the Home Office, EEA family permits are issued under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 and not UK Immigration Rules. The EEA family permit will soon be replaced by the EUSS family permit. After 30 June 2021 an EEA family permit will no longer be valid and it will be necessary to apply for an EUSS family permit
The process entails:
An initial application for a permit by the non-EEA individual in order to facilitate entry into the UK – this is valid for 6 months
Once the non-EEA applicant has entered the UK, they can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme family permit if you:
1. are the close family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
2. have lived in the EU, EEA or Switzerland with an eligible family member who is a British citizen
3. have a ‘retained right of residence’ as the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has died, left the UK, is no longer your spouse/civil partner or with whom the family relationship has broken down permanently due to domestic violence/abuse
If you currently have an EEA family permit, to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021 you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme
The person you are joining must be an EU, EEA or Swiss national or a person of Northern Ireland; someone who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before also getting British citizenship; a Frontier Worker (if they are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who travels regularly to work in the UK but lives in another EEA state); a person who was resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 and meets the eligibility criteria for the EU Settlement Scheme but hasn’t yet applied; a British citizen who also has dual EU, EEA, Swiss nationality or an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who is exempt from immigration control (for example sovereigns, members of diplomatic staff recognised by Her Majesty’s government
Who can apply?
The Free Movement of Persons Directive (2004/38/EC) defines a direct family member of an EEA national as direct family members of an EEA or Swiss national:
Direct descendants under 21, i.e. children or grandchildren
Dependant direct relatives in the ascending line
For spouse and civil partner applications, evidence such as marriage certificates, civil partner certificates and divorce or death certificates from previous relationships are essential. A child under 21 who is applying for an EEA family permit will require birth certificates to show their familial link.
Besides direct family members, the following can also apply for an EUSS family permit:
Dependant extended family members, such as an unmarried partner, brother, sister or cousin
A carer of either a British Citizen, a financially self-sufficient EEA national child or a child of an EEA national who was a worker in the UK
Unmarried partners of Swiss nationals who go engaged/formed a partnership after 31 December 2020 and are still together when they apply
Unmarried partners must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Home Office that they are in a durable relationship with each other and have been living together in a subsisting relationship for at least two years immediately preceding the date of application. Evidence such as official documentation addressed to both parties in single or joint names for the qualifying period is required.
Other ways of applying for the EUSS family permit:
With a derivative right of residence – the carer of someone who has the right to be in the UK, the carer’s child, or the child of an EEA national who previously worked in the UK
With a Surinder Singh’ application after living in another EEA country with a British family member
With a retained right of residence – you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of an EEA national who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner
However, there are more eligibility requirements for these applications.
Our fee for full representation starts from £650 plus VAT (if applicable).
Want to know more?
For further information regarding the EEA family permit, do not hesitate to contact us.