The Free Movement of people is one of the founding principles of the European Union (EU) which allows European Economic Area (EEA) nationals and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of another EEA Member State, which for the time being, still includes the UK. Applicants must satisfy all of the requirements which are set out in The Immigration (Eurpean Economic Area) Regulations 2016 (“the EEA Regulations”). Our expert team of immigration lawyers routinely assist in the preparation of successful EEA Family Permits and EEA Residence Cards for family members of EEA nationals.
If you wish to join your EEA national family member in the UK or apply to remain in the UK as the family member of an EEA national, our team are ready to meet with you in person or via Skype to consider whether you meet the eligibility requirements. Once our expert lawyers are instructed, we will liaise with you in preparing your EEA application with the requisite supporting documentation.
EEA Family Permits
An EEA Family Permit is a document issued to a non-EEA family member of an EEA national which allows the EEA Family Permit holder to travel to the UK with their EEA national family member or to join them in the UK. You should apply for an EEA Family Permit ahead of your travel to the UK and it is valid for 6 months.
You can apply for an EEA Family Permit as a direct family member of an EEA national or as an extended family member. Generally, the following may be eligible:
- Spouses or Civil Partners;
- Children or grandchildren (or the children or grandchildren of your Spouse or Civil partner) who are under 21; and
- Parents or grandparents of you and your spouse or Civil Partner (if they are dependant on you).
The EEA Regulations and Immigration Rules also allow for extended family members to apply for EEA Family Permits, proving they can demonstrate a “durable and sustainable relationship” with the EEA national.
EEA Residence Card
Before the expiry of the EEA Family Permit, the family member of the EEA national must then apply for an EEA Residence Card in order to have further leave to remain in the UK for 5 years. The EEA Residence Card will also allow you to work in the UK and help prove you qualify for certain benefits and services.
You can apply for an EEA Residence Card if you from outside the EEA and are a family member or an extended family member of an EEA national who is a permanent resident or ‘qualified person’ (i.e. someone who is exercising their Treaty Rights). You may also be eligible for an EEA Residence Card if you have Retained Rights of Residence (for example, due to divorce or death of your EEA family member).
EEA Permanent Residence for EEA Nationals & Family Members
EEA nationals and their family members, who hold an EEA Residence Card, may be able to apply for EEA Permanent Residence after they have lived in the UK for 5 years. There are a variety of reasons where you may be eligible; for example, you may apply if you are the family member of an EEA national who is a ‘qualified person’ and you are residing with them in the UK or you may apply if you came to the UK as the family member of an EEA national and then you retained a right of residence.
Impact of Brexit for EEA Nationals
Before the UK officially leaves the EU, EEA nationals who have been residing in the UK for at least 5 years and have been exercising their Treaty Rights (by working, being self-employed or studying) may wish to consider their options for regularising their status in the UK. Despite continuing Brexit negotiations, the UK is no closer to reaching a deal with the EU and there is still a great deal of uncertainty for EEA nationals as to what the future holds for them in the UK.
EEA Permanent Residence under the current EEA Regulations is unlikely to be an option after Brexit, so EEA nationals may have to consider applying for “Indefinite Leave to Remain” under the UK Immigration Rules which may then allow them to naturalise as a British citizen after a year. Another option is that there have been talks of a new ‘Settled Status’ option that EEA nationals and their family members may be eligible to apply for or convert their current EEA Permanent Residence into a Settled Status document. However, details have yet to be confirmed, so in the meantime, EEA nationals should contact LEXVISA Immigration Lawyers London to discuss their options further.
Expert UK Immigration Solicitors for EEA Family Permits & EEA Residence Card Applications
Our immigration solicitors are regularly instructed to assist in the preparation of EEA Residence Card applications more often by clients who have instructed us to prepare their application for EEA Family Permits. Our expert team offer some of the following services:
- An initial consultation with an experienced immigration solicitor who can advise on whether you meet the eligibility requirements;
- Tailored legal advice which will assist you in collating the documents required for an application; and
- Preparation of online/paper visa application forms and legal representations.
If you wish to have your documents checked by an expert immigration solicitor, please contact us so we can explore your options.
We are an Immigration law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our specialist immigration team today and we can offer you a consultation in person or via telephone or Skype so we can explore your options. You can leave us a message on our Contact Form or give us a call on 02071830570.