EEA Family Permit – Application and Requirements
EEA family permits allow recipients to enter and leave the country as many times as they like within a 6-month period. Without a permit, you may not be able to receive a boarding pass to travel to the UK or may not make it through customs. While Brexit will affect the current permit procedures for EEA and Swiss nationals and their families, it will not go in to effect until sometime in 2019. A new process will be developed, but in the meantime, the current process still stands. Here are the basics you need to know to obtain a permit for you or your loved one.
What Is A European Economic Area Family Permit?
EEA family permits are available to immediate or extended family members including parents, grandparents, spouse, civil partners, brothers, sister, cousins, aunts and uncles, relatives by marriage, unmarried partners, and next-generation relatives. The extended family member must be financially dependent on the qualified person, living in the same house as their qualified person, or have a medical condition that requires their qualified family member to care for them.
Who Qualifies For An EEA Family Permit?
Before you start filling out your EEA family permit application, you must ensure it is the correct permit for you or your loved one’s immigration needs. The current requirements are detailed below. If you do not meet these requirements, there is likely a more suitable permit. You must be both:
- From outside of the European Economic Area
- The family member or extended family member of an EEA or Swiss national
- If you are a carer or carer’s child of a qualified national or permit holder.
- You are the child of an EEA national who has worked in the UK.
- You have retained the right of residence after an EEA family member has died or is no longer your spouse or civil partner.
- You qualify for Surinder Singh.
What Is Surinder Singh?
If you have genuinely made an EEA country your full-time home, and you have a qualified British family member, you may meet the requirements for an EEA Surinder Singh permit. Your British family member must have the right to permanent residence in the EEA country where you’ve lived together. If they have been in the UK for more than 3 months, they must be able to prove that they are self-sufficient, working, going to school, or looking for employment . Your British family member must also be:
- Your spouse or civil partner.
- If you are unmarried and under the age of 21, they must be a parent or grandparent who you are dependent on.
- A child or grandchild you are dependent upon.
- An adopted child from an adoption order recognised by UK law.
What Happens Why Your EEA Family Permit Expires?
You will need to return to your home country, or alternate country of choice, on or before the date your EEA Family Permit expires. If you would like to stay in the UK, you will need to apply for a permanent residency card or a derivative residency card; or qualify under Surinder Singh. Derivative residency cards are available to primary carers, carer’s children, and children of an EEA worker who is attending school or university in the UK.
What Happens If Your EEA Family Permit Is Refused?
If your family permit is refused, or if you are asked to provide additional information, it is time to reach out to a UK immigration lawyer. Your lawyer will help you determine if an EEA permit is a correct permit for you or your loved one’s immigration needs. If the original application was insufficient, they will help you fill it out with the information required to all but ensure approval. Or, they will move forward with the more suitable permit application. Ideally, work with a lawyer from the very beginning.
Do You Need An Immigration Lawyer To Get Your EEA Permit?
You certainly can fill out and submit your permit application on your own, or with the help of your family members. However, there are many common mistakes that well-intentioned applicants make—that delay or deny their permit. The most common mistake is applying for the wrong permit in the first place. With so many permits to choose from it’s an easy mistake to make. In some cases, you may qualify for more than one permit, so you must decide which permit is the best to meet your individual long-term goals. Working with an immigration lawyer drastically increases your odds of getting approved the first time, and if you wish, can help you map out your path to permanent residency.