EEA Family Permits and Residence Cards
EEA Family Permits and Residence Cards are for non-EEA nationals who are looking to join or continue to live with their EEA national family member in the UK before the UK leaves the EU in March 2019. For information on the legal process that will apply after then, please see our Brexit Immigration Analysis.
It is not mandatory for direct family members of EEA nationals to apply for a Family Permit or Residence Card but it will make it quicker and easier to travel to the UK and also provides evidence of their right to work. The UK Government’s position is that it is mandatory for extended family members living in the UK to hold either a Family Permit or Residence Card. We explain the difference between direct and extended family members below.
EEA Family Permits and Residence Cards: Main requirements
An application for an EEA Family Permit can be made from outside of the UK by those who can demonstrate that their EEA national family member is already in the UK or will be travelling to the UK with them.
Direct family members include spouses, children and grandchildren aged under 21 or who are dependant, along with dependant parents and grandparents.
It is also possible for extended family members to apply for a family permit if they can show that they are dependent on the EEA national, are a member of their household or have a serious health condition and are reliant upon the EEA national for care. Extended family members include brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces. Unmarried partners can also make an application as an extended family member providing they can show that they are in a durable relationship with the EEA national.
Where the EEA national is already in the UK, if they have been in the UK for over three months evidence must be provided to demonstrate that they are a qualified person or have permanent residence.
The requirements to be met by those applying for an EEA Residence Card are the same as those outlined above, the only difference being that an application for an EEA Residence Card can be made from within the UK.
Length and conditions of stay in the UK
An EEA Family Permit will be granted for six months.
An EEA Residence Card will be granted for up to five years, after which time an applicant may be eligible to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card.
During their stay in the UK applicants can work, study, marry and leave and re-enter the UK as often as required.
EEA Permanent Residence Card
An application for An EEA Residence Card can be made once an applicant has lived in the UK for at least five years.
EEA Family Permits and Residence Cards: How we can help
The Home Office will carefully scrutinise applications for EEA Family Permits and Residence Cards. If it does not consider that the evidence provided sufficiently demonstrates that the above requirements have been met, the application will fall for refusal. It is therefore essential that any application is prepared thoroughly and carefully.
We are experienced in preparing EEA Family Permit and Residence Card applications to ensure a successful outcome and will provide expert guidance and assistance to you throughout the process.
For further advice, please contact us.