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EEA Family Permits

An EEA Family Permit is for family members who are not EEA nationals to travel or join them in the United Kingdom. According to this immigration category EEA Family Permit holders are able to enter the United Kingdom and live and work there on the basis of them being a dependent of a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA).

Who is an EEA Family Permit for?

The permit is for a non-EEA national who is:

  • The spouse or civil partner of an EEA or Swiss national;
  • A descendant (child or grandchild) of the EEA national or their spouse/civil partner under 21 years of age;
  • A dependent descendant (child or grandchild) of the EEA national or their spouse/civil partner aged 21 and over;
  • A dependant relative in the ascending line (i.e. parents or grandparents) of an EEA or Swiss national or his/her spouse or civil partner.

EEA Family Permit requirements

EEA Family Permit applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • The EEA-national partner must be exercising his or her Treaty rights in the UK - i.e. self-employment, study, employment;
  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must either be legally married to each other (married couples) or be able to provide evidence of living together within the most recent two years (unmarried couples);
  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must have met already;
  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must demonstrate intent to live together;
  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must be travelling to the UK together, or the EEA national should already be in the UK;
  • The family unit must not be dependent on public funds whilst in the United Kingdom.

EEA Family Permits and Unmarried Partners

An unmarried partner can be considered for a family permit as an extended family member if they are in a 'durable relationship' with the EEA national and would satisfy similar criteria to those in place for the unmarried partner visa - i.e. that the parties have been living together in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership which has subsisted for at least 2 years.

How long is an EEA Family Permit valid?

An EEA Family Permit for the EEA-national partner is usually issued for a period of 6 months. During this 6 month the EEA-national partner is expected to apply for a Residence Permit.

An EEA Family Permit for the non-EEA family member is usually issued for a period of 5 years, after which the non-EEA family member can make an application for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK (also known as 'ILR' or 'permanent residence').

EEA Family Permits and Indefinite Leave to Remain

Applications for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) may be made by all family members (including the EU citizen) after 5 years residence in the UK provided that the necessary permissions have been obtained in the meantime.

EEA Nationals and Permanent Residence

EEA nationals wanting to apply for British Naturalisation must first apply for a document confirming that they are free from immigration time restrictions. They must present this document as part of their application for British Nationality.

When applying for British Naturalisation, EEA nationals who have achieved permanent residence status under the EEA regulations 2006 on the basis of having spent 5 continuous years of residence in the UK will need to show that they have completed a further 12 months of residence in the UK free of immigration time restrictions.

Further information, help, and advice

Our team of specialists have years of experience in visa services. We work with clients under Section 84 of the 1999 Immigration Act and can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.

For more information and advice on UK immigration law and UK visa applications please contact us on 0203 488 2308 or email us at Info@worldwideimmigration.co.uk

Worldwide Immigration
Worldwide Immigration