Applying for permits to join EU or EEA family members in the UK
Who can apply?
It may be possible to apply for a permit to come to the UK if you are the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, or of a ‘person of Northern Ireland’. It should also be noted that the EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. Additionally, the family of some British citizens can also get a permit.
You must be outside the UK to apply and there are 2 different family permits:
The EU Settlement Scheme family permit, and
EEA family permit
It is important to note that the EEA family permit will be ending. After the 30th June 2021 they will no longer be valid and no new applications will be accepted. Until then, you can still apply for the EEA family permit if you are the close family member or unmarried partner of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who is a qualified person or has a right of permanent residence in the UK. Alternatively, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme family permit instead if your family member has or is eligible for ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
To be eligible under this permit your relationship with the EU, EEA or Swiss citizen in question (who is a qualified person or has a right of permanent residence in the UK) must be one of the following options:
- Spouse or civil partner,
- Unmarried partner in a lasting relationship,
- Child or grandchild aged under 21,
- Dependent child or grandchild of any age, and
- Dependent parent or grandparent.
This also includes family members who were adopted under an adoption order that is recognised in UK law.
In addition, your family relationship must have started by the 31st December 2020.
The family member you are joining must:
- Have been living in the UK by the 31st December 2020,
- Have been working, looking for work, studying or self-sufficient while living here, and
- Have a right of permanent residence in the UK.
Extended family members
As a result of the Brexit transition period ending on the 31st December 2020, you can no longer apply for an EEA family permit if you are the extended family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen. Example of this are if you are their:
- Brother or sister,
- Aunt or uncle,
- Niece or nephew.
Unmarried partners that are in a lasting relationship (‘durable partners’) can still continue to apply for EEA family permits until the 30th June 2021.
Other ways you can get a EEA family permit
You may also be eligible for a EEA family permit:
with a ‘derivative right of residence’ – you might have this if you are the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, the primary carer’s child, or the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who previously worked in the UK,
if you are able to make a ‘Surinder Singh’ application after living in an EU, EEA country or Switzerland with a British family member,
with a ‘retained right of residence’ – you might have this if you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner.
Additionally you must also have had the right to reside in the UK by the 31st December 2020. For a list of documents and evidence to consider when applying for this permit click here.
How we can help
At NA Law Solicitors we provide thorough guidance and advice to individuals who wish to apply for a permit to come to the UK provided that they are the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or of a ‘person of Northern Ireland’. Please get in touch for an initial assessment.