It is not mandatory for direct family members of EEA nationals to apply for a Family Permit or Residence Card but it will make it quicker and easier to travel to the UK and also provides evidence of their right to work. The UK Government’s position is that it is mandatory for extended family members living in the UK to hold either a Family Permit or Residence Card. We explain the difference between direct and extended family members below.
What are the main requirements for an EEA Family Permit
An application for an EEA Family Permit can be made from outside of the UK by those who can demonstrate that their EEA national family member is already in the UK or will be travelling to the UK with them.
Direct family members include spouses, children and grandchildren aged under 21 or who are dependant, along with dependant parents and grandparents.
It is also possible for extended family members to apply for a family permit if they can show that they are dependent on the EEA national, are a member of their household or have a serious health condition and are reliant upon the EEA national for care. Extended family members include brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces. Unmarried partners can also make an application as an extended family member providing they can show that they are in a durable relationship with the EEA national.
Where the EEA national is already in the UK, if they have been in the UK for over three months evidence must be provided to demonstrate that they are a qualified person or have permanent residence.
What are the main requirements for an EEA Residence Card?
The requirements to be met by those applying for an EEA Residence Card are the same as those outlined above, the only difference being that an application for an EEA Residence Card can be made from within the UK.
How long can I stay and what are the conditions of my stay?
An EEA Family Permit will be granted for six months.
An EEA Residence Card will be granted for up to five years, after which time an applicant may be eligible to apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card.
During their stay in the UK applicants can work, study, marry and leave and re-enter the UK as often as required.
EEA Permanent Residence Card
An application for an EEA Residence Card can be made once an applicant has lived in the UK for at least five years.
How we can help
The requirements for EEA Family Permits Residence Cards are highly prescriptive and the Home Office routinely refuse applications that do not fully comply with the EEA Regulations and guidance. Our highly experienced team of immigration lawyers will assist in preparing and submitting your application to achieve the best possible outcome.
If you’d like to discuss matters further, please email our Immigration team on firstname.lastname@example.org or complete the online enquiry form on this page.