- What is the European Economic Area (EEA) Family Permit?
- EEA Family Permit eligibility
- Qualifying as a family member or extended family member
- Other routes to get an EEA Family Permit
- What documents do I need to provide with EEA Family Permit applications?
- What is the Surinder Singh Route?
- What is the UK Residence Card?
- How long does the EEA Family Permit last?
- Does the EEA Family Permit permit work?
- Frequently asked questions
What is the EEA Family Permit?
The EEA Family Permit is designed for close family members of people living in the UK who are from the EEA (and Switzerland). The EEA Family Permit is a form of entry clearance which is designed to enable smoother movement across EEA states.
You could be eligible for the permit if you are a close or ‘extended’ family member of an EEA citizen. This includes siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces. You must be from outside the EEA to be eligible.
What is the European Economic Area (EEA) Family Permit?
The European Economic Area (EEA) Family Permit is a permit for non-EEA family members of an EEA national.
The EEA/Swiss national must be either already living in the UK or will be travelling with you to the UK within six months of the date of the application.
EEA Family Permit Eligibility
To be eligible for the EEA Family Permit, the applicant must:
- Be from outside the EEA (and Switzerland)
- Be a close or extended family member of an EEA or Swiss national
If the person has been in the UK for more than three months, they must either be a ‘qualified person’ which means working, looking for work, self-employed, studying or self-sufficient, or have a permanent residence document.
Qualifying as a Family Member or Extended Family Member
To qualify as a family member, you must be the spouse or civil partner of the EEA citizen, or related to them (or to their spouse or civil partner) as their:
- Child or grandchild under 21 years of age
- Dependent child or grandchild of any age
- Dependent parent or grandparent
To qualify as an extended family member, you must be a sibling, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece. In order to be eligible, you must fall into one of the following categories:
- Dependent on the EEA citizen
- A member of their household
- Have a serious health condition and rely on the person to care for you
If you are the unmarried partner of an EEA citizen living in the UK, you might also be eligible for the EEA Family Permit if you can prove that you are in a long-term relationship with them.
Are There Other Routes to Get an EEA Family Permit?
You could also be eligible for an EEA Family Permit even if you aren’t a close or extended family member of an EEA citizen.
Other routes to an EEA Family Permit:
- A ‘derivative right of residence’. This includes 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 worked in the UK previously
- 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, has left the UK or is no longer the spouse or partner of you
- The ‘Surinder Singh’ route (more below)
For each of these routes, there are additional requirements which must be fulfilled.
Call us now on 0121 667 6530 to speak with one of our immigration law specialists who can provide you with more information on all forms of EEA Family Permits and their requirements.
What Documents do I Need to Provide with EEA Family Permit Applications?
The documents which you need to submit to the Home Office depends on the route through which you are applying for an EEA Family Permit.
For instance, applications made through the Surinder Singh, derivative right of residence’ and ‘retained right of residence’ routes will require the applicant to submit more documentation than standard EEA Family Permit applications.
The documents/information which you must provide with all EEA Family Permits are:
- Valid passport
- Evidence of your relationship to the EEA member of family. This could be proved through a marriage or civil partnership certificate, birth certificate or documents showing that you have lived together for 2 years (if unmarried)
- Your family member’s valid passport or national identity card
- Proof of your dependency if applying as a dependent of the EEA family member
Required Documents if EEA Family Member has Been Living in the UK for More Than Three Months
If your family member has been in the UK for more than three months, you must be able to show that they have a permanent residence document.
If the EEA family member doesn’t have a permanent residence document, you will need to show that:
- They are employed. This can be proven through showing an employment contract, wage slips or a letter from an employer of the EEA family member
- They are self-employed. If the EEA family member is self-employed, the applicant will need to submit, for example, contracts, invoices or audited accounts with bank statements
- They are studying. You will need to show letters from the school, college or university
- They are financially independent. Applicant can show this through bank statements
If any documents are not in English or Welsh, you need to include translations of the documents in your portfolio of documents (along with the originals). These documents must be translated by an accredited translator.
What is the Surinder Singh Route?
If you have lived in another EEA country with an eligible member of family who’s a British citizen, you could be eligible for an EEA Family Permit. This route is known as a Surinder Singh application.
The British family member must be:
- Your spouse or civil partner
- Your parent or grandparent (or their spouse or civil partner). You must be under 21-years-old or dependent on this person to apply
- Your child or grandchild (or their spouse or civil partner). You must be dependent on this person to apply
What is the UK Residence Card?
The UK residence permit has similar requirements and conditions to the EEA Family Permit. In order to apply for the EEA family permit residence card your family member must already be in the UK, and you must have been living in the UK for at least five years.
Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and, even if you meet the requirements, your application may still be refused.
How Long Does the EEA Family Permit Last?
You can stay for up to six months in the UK under an EEA family permit. You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need within that time frame.
If you wish to stay in the UK for longer, you will need to apply to the EU settlement scheme, or apply for an EEA residence card. For most individuals, the EU Settlement Scheme application deadline was June 30, 2021. However, if you already possess pre-settled status and are seeking to upgrade to settled status, this deadline does not apply to you.
Does the EEA Family Permit Allow Work?
If the EEA national family member of the non-EEA national is a ‘qualified’ person in the UK, the non-EEA national will be able to work in the UK under an EEA Family Permit without restrictions.
Last modified on September 5th, 2023 at 11:46 am
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals.
Designed to make your visa application as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Fast Track Package
Premium application service that ensures your visa application is submitted to meet your deadline.
Ensure you have the greatest chance of a successful appeal. We will represent you in any case.
The Advice Package
During this untimed Advice Session with our professional immigration lawyers in London, you will receive our comprehensive advice, completely tailored to your needs and your situation.
The Application Package
With our Application Package, your dedicated immigration lawyer will advise you on your application process and eligibility. Your caseworker will then complete and submit your forms to the Home Office on your behalf.
The Fast Track Package
Our Fast-Track Application Package is a premium service for those who need to submit their application in time with their deadlines. Your case will become a top priority for our lawyers and you will benefit from our highest-quality services.
The Appeal Package
By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.
The EU Settlement Scheme is another form of family permit. This family permit can be applied for if you are the close family member of an EEA national who has settled status in the UK.
You could be eligible if you are the spouse, civil partner, dependent child or dependent parent of this person. This permit initially lasts for six months, but it can be extended if you wish to remain in the UK.
For most individuals, the EU Settlement Scheme application deadline was June 30, 2021. However, if you already possess pre-settled status and are seeking to upgrade to settled status, this deadline does not apply to you.
The EEA Family Permit and EEA family member visa is free of charge.
We are a team of highly qualified immigration law specialists with offices throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Our immigration lawyers in Birmingham can help you to complete your EEA Family Permit application to the highest standard, ensuring that you have all the required documentation and that the application meets all necessary administrative standards.
Call us now on 0121 667 6530 to find out how our expert immigration law specialists can help you with finding an EEA sponsor, or more information on the EEA family member visa.