EEA Applications


As a European Economic Area (EEA) or Swiss national or a family member of an EEA or Swiss national, you may be able to come to the UK to study, work or join family. Whilst the EEA regulations may appear simple, this is not reflected in the UK application process. Whether in the UK or overseas, our immigration lawyers can help to guide you through the Home Office’s requirements.

EEA Nationals​

Nationals of countries in the EEA or Switzerland can live in the UK for three months before they must become economically active or self-sufficient. In the main, the only evidence you need of your right to live or work in the UK is your passport or national identity card. You can also apply for a registration certificate if you want confirmation of your right to live or work in the UK.

Once EEA or Swiss nationals have lived in the UK for five years they may acquire permanent residence. This depends on how you have spent your time in the UK. Having acquired permanent residence, you no longer have any conditions on your stay in the UK and you have enhanced protection from removal. You may wish to apply for a permanent residence card to prove your right to live in the UK permanently. We can help you to do this.

Family Members of EEA Nationals and British citizens working in another EEA country

Family members can include the EEA or Swiss national’s:

  • Spouse or civil partner
  • Unmarried partner (in a lasting relationship, similar to a marriage or civil partnership)
  • Child or grandchild who is under 21 or a dependant (or that of their spouse or civil partner)
  • Dependant relative: brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece, cousin, grandchild, parent and grandparent (or that of their spouse or civil partner)

Different rules and requirements apply depending on the relationship that the family member has with the EEA or Swiss national.

You may also be eligible to apply to remain in the UK under European migration law if you used to have a family member who was an EEA or Swiss national but that relationship has now ended because, for example, they passed away or you have divorced.

Family members of EEA or Swiss nationals may wish to apply for an EEA family permit to come to the UK. This is valid for six months. Once in the UK, you can apply for a residence card as evidence of your right to live and work in the UK. A residence card can last up to five years. After living in the UK for five years, you may be able to apply for a permanent residence card to prove your right to live in the UK permanently.

If you are a non-EEA national family member of a British citizen who has lived in another EEA country you could be eligible to enter and live in the UK under European migration laws.

Why use Bishop & Sewell?

Our immigration lawyers have the expertise and experience to guide you through this difficult and sensitive area of law. Our team has assisted numerous individuals throughout the UK and worldwide, no matter how complicated their case, to obtain a positive result.

We are able to assist you with:

  • Making an application for a registration certificate, family permit, residence card, derivative residence card, or permanent residence card
  • Appealing to the Immigration Tribunal against a refused application made under European migration laws

What should I do now?

If you are thinking about making an application under the European migration laws, or appealing a decision made by the Home Office, our Immigration lawyers can provide you with quality legal advice to achieve the best possible outcome. Our Immigration team can answer your questions about the legal process, your rights and what the best option is for you.

For initial advice or to arrange a meeting with one of our EEA application solicitors, please contact us on 020 7631 4141.

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Who to contact


For more information the following lawyers will be able to help with EEA Applications.

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Mariam Khaliq
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Karma Hickman
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