The EEA Family Permit allows EEA nationals to bring their dependants into the UK. The policy was revised since 31st October 2019, and all applications are considered under EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit (EUSS family permit), which is set out under Appendix EU (Family Permit) of the Immigration Rules.
The EEA family permit allows non-EEA citizen family member without a valid biometric residence card – a valid residence card or permanent residence card issued by the UK under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 on the basis of an application made on or after 6 April 2015 – in order to join in, or accompany to, the UK an EEA or Swiss citizen who has been granted indefinite or limited leave under the EUSS.
A non-EEA citizen family member outside the UK with a biometric residence card can apply for an EUSS family permit to join or accompany an EEA or Swiss citizen who has been granted leave under the EUSS. However, a non-EEA citizen (as defined in Annex 1 to Appendix EU (Family Permit)) who is outside the UK and has a valid biometric residence card can travel to the UK with that document and a valid passport. They can also apply directly for leave under the EUSS from outside the UK.
The purpose of the EEA Family Permit application
The EEA Family Permit application allows a non-EEA national to come and join their family member in the UK. You must be a person who is a non-EEA national. You must also provide information and evidences to confirm you would be able to travel to the UK within the 6 months of the visa being issued.
The EEA national you are looking to join, will have to prove they hold either pre-settled or settled status. They must also provide proof that they are a qualified person in the UK.
Suitability under the EEA Family Permit
When an application under the EEA Family Permit is applied, you will be considered under the suitability of leave to enter to the UK. As part of the application, the Home Office will conduct an assessment, which is done on a case by case basis and be based on your personal conduct and circumstances, including whether you have any relevant prior criminal convictions, and whether you have been open and honest in their application.
Under rule FP7(1), an application for an EUSS family permit or an EUSS travel permit will be refused on grounds of suitability where, at the date of decision, the applicant is subject to a ‘deportation order’ (as defined in Annex 1 to Appendix EU (Family Permit)) or to a decision to make a deportation order an ‘exclusion order’ or ‘exclusion decision’ (as also defined in Annex 1 to Appendix EU (Family Permit)).
Applying for EEA Family Permit
To make an application for an EEA Family Permit, you will be able to apply online on the Home Office website. The information on the form needs to be completed fully, and once you are happy with the application, you would be able to submit the application online and book the visa appointment.
Once the application had been submitted, you will be able to submit the relevant evidences to support the EEA Family Permit application. As part of the EEA Family Permit application, you will be required to submit your valid identity, confirmation of your relationship with the EEA national and provide valid biometric information at the date of application.
Failure to provide the specified evidences can lead to the EEA Family Permit application either rejected or refused.
A decision is made by the Home Office within 12 weeks, however decisions can take longer. The EEA Family Permit is granted for a period of 6 months from the date of the decision and you will be able to enter the UK any point following the grant of the visa. There are no conditions set out on the EEA Family Permit visa.
The best interests of a child
An EEA Family Permit application for a child will require the Home Office to consider the best interest of the child. The policy is set out in section 55 of the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009 to have regard to the need to safeguard and promote the welfare of a child under the age of 18 in the UK, together with Article 3 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, means that consideration of the child’s best interests is a primary consideration, but not the only consideration, in immigration cases.
Refusal of an EEA Family Permit
If your application for an EEA family permit is refused, you will be able to appeal against the decision. You will have 28 days to lodge an appeal against the decision. When appealing against the refusal, you will be asked to complete the claim form, submit the legal grounds and evidences.
We recommend that you take some legal advice at first, to see whether the decision was reached correctly or not. You can email us a copy of the decision letter to firstname.lastname@example.org.
As part of our process, we will advise whether you should appeal the decision or re-apply for the EEA Family Permit. We will explain our reasons on why you should either appeal or submit a new application.
Legal advice for the EEA Family Permit application
Given the legal changes, family members of EEA nationals will need to apply for the EEA Family Permit if they intend to join them in the UK. Our UK Immigration Lawyers will provide you with the very best advice and most importantly putting your best interest at first.
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