The United Kingdom is a diverse nation and home to Europeans and citizens from all over the world.
As an EEA national, you can bring your non-EEA family member to the UK. They must be joining you or travelling with you and will need to apply for an EEA family permit from outside the UK.
If the family member is not travelling with the EEA national or will not be joining them in the UK, they will not qualify for an EEA permit and would need to apply for entry clearance under the UK Immigration Rules.
An EEA family permit allows entry for a non-EEA family member to the UK as a contracting member of an EEA member State. If the family member wishes to travel to Europe, you will need to check with the consular for that state as the family permit is accepted by some member states.
The EEA family permit is issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 and not the Immigration Rules.
Under Part 7 of the EEA Regulations, a person will be classified as an eligible family member if they are related to the EEA national as:
· Spouse/Civil Partners
· Children under the age of 21
· Dependent parents and grandparents/grandchildren
The definition under European Regulations for a family member is considerably wider than the UK immigration Rules because it also includes extended family members such as unmarried partners of the EEA national in a durable relationship that is similar to a marriage or civil partnership. Relatives of the EEA national which includes brothers, sisters, aunt, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins also fall within the definition of an extended family member. In order to apply as an extended family, you must be able to show that either you’re dependent on the EEA national or are a member of their household, or have a serious health condition and require care from the EEA national.
Fiancé and proposed civil partners are not recognised as family member or extended family members unless they can show they are in a durable relationship. Extended family members and unmarried partners are not guaranteed for a permit and each individual case will be considered according to their merit.
A relevant advantage of applying for a family permit is that it will enable you to exercise full citizens’ rights whilst living in the UK such as working and claiming government benefits under some circumstances.
The EEA family permit is valid for 6 months and afterwards, the family member should apply for an EEA Residence Card to confirm their right of residence under European Law provided all other criteria are met. The EEA Residence Card is normally valid for 5 years. Subsequently, family members will be able to apply for permanent residence card. This will be subject to Brexit negotiations.
We have extensive experience and knowledge on family reunion applications, please contact us if you have any queries and we would be happy to assist.