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EEA Family Permit (UK Family Visas)

The type of visa required for an individual wishing to stay in the UK subject to eligibility on the basis that they have a family member or spouse who possesses indefinite leave to remain in the UK is known as a ‘family of a settled person visa’ and are valid for 2 years and 6 months.

Who is an EEA Family Permit suitable for?

The permit is suitable for a non-EEA national who is:

  • The spouse or civil partner of an EEA or Swiss national;

  • A descendant (child or grandchild) of the EEA national or their spouse/civil partner under 21 years of age;

  • A dependent descendant (child or grandchild) of the EEA national or their spouse/civil partner aged 21 and over;

  • A dependent relative in the ascending line (i.e. parents or grandparents) of an EEA or Swiss national or his/her spouse or civil partner.

EEA Family Permit Requirements

EEA Family Permit applicants must satisfy the following requirements:

  • The EEA-national partner must be exercising his or her Treaty rights in the UK - i.e. self-employment, study, employment;

  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must either be legally married to each other (married couples) or be able to provide evidence of living together within the most recent two years (unmarried couples);

  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must have met already;

  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must demonstrate intent to live together;

  • The non-EEA family member and the EEA national must be travelling to the UK together, or the EEA national should already be in the UK;

  • The family unit must not be dependent on public funds whilst in the United Kingdom.

UK Family Visas

Successful applicants for UK immigration can generally bring spouses, partners and dependent children with them to the UK.  The relative will then enjoy the same benefits as the main applicant in terms of worker rights and rights to education for the children.

Generally, such partners or children must apply for entry clearance before coming to the UK. The partner of the main visa holder would have the same conditions placed on their visa as the visa holder.

Check your eligibility for a Family Visa Check your eligibility for a UK Family Visa

Family Visa Categories

If you are looking to bring a spouse or partner to the UK, you can find more information in our UK Partner Visa section. Alternatively, there are options available to those who have some other family ties to UK citizens, permanent residents or EU Citizens (generally those who at least have Indefinite Leave to Remain) to be sponsored to come to the UK with a view to being here permanently.

EEA Family Permit FAQ

What are the EEA (European Economic Area) Countries?

These are currently: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK. Although Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK.

Where can I apply for an EEA Family Permit?

You can submit your application in any country that offers a UK visa service. You do not have to be resident in the country of application. Nor do you have to be lawfully present in the country of application.

Which application form should I use for an EEA Family Permit application?

Most applicants need to complete an on-line application form. The UKBA “Country Finder” will tell you whether you need to complete an on-line or a printed form. If you need to complete an on-line form, you do not need to choose a form; the on-line application system will automatically generate the correct questions for you. If you need to complete a printed form, the correct form is UK Family Visa. Please remember that, even if you have to complete an on-line form, you will still need to print this, date and sign it, and submit it at the visa application centre! Guidance to complete the EEA Family Permit form can be found UK Family Visa. UKBA’s supporting documents guidance for EEA Family Permits can be found UK Family Visa. UKBA’s country finder can be found UK Family Visa.

Can the family member of a British national apply for an EEA Family Permit?

Yes, but only if a) the British national is exercising a Treaty Right in another Member State or was doing so before his/her return to the UK (exercising a Treaty Right means that the British national is either currently working or self-employed in another Member State, or was working or self-employed in another Member State before he returned to the UK), and b) you are in a relationship (e.g. marriage/CP) and living together in the EEA country, or you entered into the marriage or civil partnership and were living together in the relevant EEA country before the British citizen returned to the UK.

Who are an EEA National’s Family Members?

The family members of an EEA national (part 7 of the EEA Regulations) include:

  • spouses or civil partners;

  • direct descendants of the EEA national or their spouse/ civil partner under 21;

  • dependent direct descendants of the EEA national or their spouse/ civil partner 21 and over;

  • dependent direct relatives in the ascending line, for example, parents and grandparents of the EEA national or their spouse / civil partner.

Can I work on the EEA Family Permit?

Yes, you are permitted to work on the EEA Family Permit.

You must meet the eligibility requirements listed below in order to qualify for this visa, please contact us for an initial assessment to determine your eligibility, and to discuss the options available to you.

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