(This article was updated on 09/07/2020)
EEA Family Permit Overview
Any EU citizen opting for long term residence in the UK (i.e. being a qualified person) or having UK permanent residency, as per EU regulations, can bring their non- EEA national family members along with them. The EEA family permit or visa is valid for a period of 6 months and allows the holder to enter and leave the UK as many times as required, within that period. There are no employment related restrictions on the Family Permit holder
Up on the Permit holder’s entry to the UK, it is feasible to apply to join family living permanently through an application for a valid status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Once the application is approved, it grants a pre-settled status which allows residence in the UK for 5 years.
It is advisable for EEA nationals and their family members entering the UK to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) at the earliest. The deadline to apply under the scheme is 30th June 2021.
EEA Family Permit Eligibility
A non-EEA national would be eligible to apply for an EEA Family Permit if you are a family member or an extended family member of an EEA citizen or Swiss national exercising their free movement rights in the UK.
It is also possible to be eligible if you possess a derivative right of residence or by means of Surinder Singh application (if your family member is a British national) or possess a retained right of residence.
If the EU national has stayed in the UK for over three months, then the applicant will be allowed to remain only if his EU National sponsor is a qualified person, i.e. the individual is in employment, in business (self-employment), economically self-sufficient or in some case if the individual is studying in the UK or temporarily out of work.
The EEA family member must hold comprehensive health insurance if he/she is applying on the grounds of his/her sponsor being a student or self-sufficient.
Eligible as a Family Member
Fundamentally, all non-EU national members of the family, accompanying or joining the EEA or Swiss national, to or in the UK can apply for an EEA Family visa or permit.
In order to be considered as a ‘direct family member’ under EEA Family Permit-Family Member, you must be the EEA citizen’s spouse/civil partner or the child or grandchild being under the age of 21 years, parents/grandparents in the ascending line of the EU national or his spouse/civil partner. Children or grandchildren beyond the age as twenty-one can become eligible at any age as long as they can prove to be financially dependent on the EU sponsor.
As per the UK Immigration law, adopted family members are regarded as natural family members.
Eligible as Extended Family Member
In order to apply as an extended family member of the EU national, other than unmarried partners (durable partner), all other extended family members (sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles etc.) have to prove dependency on the EU citizen or must have been a member of their household. There also exist Home office new rules for EEA Extended Family Members.
In other cases, the extended family member has to prove a serious health condition and dependency on the care of the EU citizen.
Extended family members must apply for an EU Family Permit and apply for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme to reside legally in the UK.
Eligibility pertaining to Surinder Singh Route Application
If you are the family member of a British national living or having lived in an EEA country (except the UK) with them, you would be apply for an EEA family permit to enter the UK. This is called the ‘Surinder Singh route’, after the case law that established this precedent.
In a way, this route causes the spouse/civil partner/child/stepchild/parent or parent-in-law of a British citizen who has exercised Treaty Rights (as a worker, self-employed, etc.) in another EU state to enter and live in the UK in accordance with the EU law (rather than under the UK immigration legislation) to enter the UK along with the British national, as their family member.
It becomes evidentially essential to prove during this period, the other EU state was your point of residence. You will also have to prove that you lived there together and integrated there.
It is significant to note that you must fulfil very strict requirements to qualify under the Surinder Singh route.
At Smart Move Immigration our UK Immigration & Business experts provide advice and assistance to apply for EEA Family Permits. Call us on +91 22 2850 9857 or +91 9819 025 362 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to know more about EEA Family Permit Application. Our offices are located at London, New Delhi, Chandigarh, Bengaluru as well as Mumbai is our registered office.