The IAS Visa Wizard is the easy way to find the correct visa for you
An EEA Family Permit is a form of Entry Clearance to the UK and is designed to make movement around the EEA member states easier for non-EEA family members. Those who can apply are family members of EU nationals who are permanent residents in the UK.
While not technically an ‘EEA Visa’, the Family Permit will allow non-EU nationals to enter the UK under EU law to join their European family members.
Whilst some other visa types may afford non-European family members of EEA nationals similar rights depending on eligibility, an EEA Permit can be applied for from outside of the UK, and is also often considered to be less difficult to obtain. This makes the Family Permit a more viable and practical option for most people who meet the eligibility criteria. Upon successful application, an EEA Family Permit will be issued to you and will usually remain valid for a period of six months. After this time, you can apply for an extension of up to five years. Following this, you will then be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence, shortly followed by British Citizenship.
We know that understanding EEA guidelines can be confusing, especially in our current political climate. Our team of expert lawyers are up-to-date with current EEA legislation changes. One of our lawyers can work with you to understand your options, both now and after Brexit. He/she will work with you to design a plan for you and your family members, check your requirements according to the most recent laws and assist you with any applications you make. Contact us now to speak with one of our immigration lawyers.
The European law definition of a family member is considerably wider than under the UK Immigration Rules and includes spouses, civil partners, partners in a ‘durable relationship’ and children.
As the rules governing EEA Family Permits are stipulated by European Law, applicants who are children of an EEA national may be up to 21 years of age, rather than the UK legal classification of a child. It may also be possible to bring dependent parents, grandparents and extended family members such as siblings and cousins to live in the UK using this route, although where the EEA national is a student they may only be joined by their partner and/or dependent children. You must also meet the eligibility requirements of being from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) and the family member in question must be an EEA national.
Generally, the criteria for an EEA Family Permit caters for the following:
And in certain circumstances:
If you have lived in another EEA country other than the UK with a family member who is a British Citizen then you may be eligible to make what’s known as a ‘Surinder Singh’ application. In order to successfully apply using this route, the British family member must be your spouse/civil partner, parent or grandparent where you are dependent upon them, or your child or grandchild where they are dependent upon you.
You must also prove that you meet the eligibility criteria for the EEA country where you are currently residing and that this has been your main residence for both you and your family member.
If your British family member has returned to the UK, you may still be able to make a Surinder Singh application. However, there is an additional criterion that will need to be met. If they have been back in the UK for over three months, your British family member will also have to prove that they were working, self-employed, studying, self-sufficient or looking for work during the time that they have been back in the UK.
Immigrating to the UK as a family member of an eligible EEA national is a two-stage process. The family member must first apply for Entry Clearance to classify as an eligible immigrant. Then, once in the UK, the EEA Family Permit holder can apply to confirm their right of residence under European Law provided all other criteria are met, which is usually done through application for an EEA Residence Card.
The EEA Residence Card is usually valid for five years. After you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years with your EEA or Swiss national family member, you may be able to apply for confirmation of your right to permanent residence.
We understand that with Brexit negotiations well underway, it is important to have security; our team of expert immigration lawyers can help you to get this.
IAS hosts a team of specialist immigration lawyers who can help you find the best route to take as an EEA or Swiss national, inform you of your next steps and guide you through each stage of your application process.
Comprehensive immigration advice tailored to your circumstances and goals
Designed to make your visa application as successful, smooth and stress-free as possible
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 hearings/tribunals
Arthur was engaged to a Mexican National. He made an application for entry clearance for his partner but was refused. The wedding day was edging closer and closer so Arthur… Read More
George was from the UK and wanted to bring Godfrey, his partner, a Ghanaian National over to the UK as a Proposed Civil Partner.
George did well in life… Read More
Matthew, a US national, had been studying in the UK for three years with a Tier 4 General Student Visa.
He found a potential employer in the UK but… Read More
Ajay’s Mother, a Nepalese national, wanted to visit her son who lived in the UK and applied for a Family Visitor Visa but was refused.
They contacted IAS and… Read More
Samy from the Democratic Republic of Congo was accepted into a UK University. However, he had a wife and two daughters and was unsure about leaving his family behind so… Read More
Ben is a Brazilian national. While he was visiting the UK for business, he was offered a placement with a UK company.
He needed help as soon as possible and… Read More
Excellent service! Would definitely recommend to anyone needing help with immigration issues. Our lawyer was incredibly knowledgeable and helpful.
IAS is the best immigration lawyers
Latest ONS figures show EU migration into the UK lowest for four years Read More
What the New Brexit White Paper Means for Immigration Read More
UK Government Pauses Hostile Immigration Policies After Windrush Read More