The free movement of people, one of the founding principles of the European Union allows EEA nationals and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the EEA Member States, including the UK. Our expert team of immigration lawyers routinely assist in the preparation of 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 Permit
An EEA Family Permit is a document issued to non-EEA family members of EEA nationals; this allows the permit holder to travel to the UK with their EEA national family member or to join them in the UK. You should apply for a 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 dependent on you).
The EEA Regulations and Immigration Rules do allow for extended family members to apply for an EEA Family Permit; if you are in a “durable relationship” with your EEA national partner and can demonstrate a sustainable relationship, you may be eligible.
EEA Residence Card
An EEA Family Permit is only valid for 6 months; before this expires, you must apply for an EEA Residence Card which if granted will allow you to reside in the UK with your EEA national family member for a period of 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).
If you wish to consider your options, please call a member of our immigration team today so we can explore your options with you.
Brexit: The Aftermath
Following the shocking decision this morning, David Cameron announced his resignation and admitted the country needed “new leadership.” It is unclear at this stage who this new leader may be but reports are already surfacing that Boris Johnson has “neatly positioned himself” to become a main player in any ensuing Conservative leadership challenge.
In legal terms, Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union establishes the procedures for a member state to withdraw from the EU. Under this Article, the UK must notify the EU of its withdrawal and the EU will then be obliged to try to negotiate a withdrawal agreement with the UK. The results of the vote in itself do not provide the EU with notification – this must be done formally and in accordance to procedures put in place by the Treaty on the European Union.
Over the next few weeks, British and European leaders will begin negotiating the terms of Britain’s departure and it goes without saying that Britain’s exit from the European Union will affect the British economy and immigration policy. It is unlikely we will know the true consequences for at least a few years but it is likely that whilst terms of withdrawal are being negotiated, there would be no immediate changes to the immigration rules. This is because of the significant impact it would have on UK employers and employees.
Impact of Brexit for EU Nationals
Once Britain invokes Article 50, it will have 2 years in which to negotiate a new treaty to replace the terms of EU membership. This means that there will be no immediate consequences for EU nationals in the UK and free movement of people will continue. 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 applying for a Permanent Residence Card. This would be equivalent to “Indefinite Leave to Remain” under the UK Immigration Rules and may allow them to naturalise as a British citizen after a year.
In terms of the near future, it is possible that Britain will negotiate an agreement which would continue to allow free movement between the UK and the EU (and it would certainly be in its interests too) but if this fails, it is likely EU nationals would face the same migration criteria which applies to non-EU nationals wishing to live and work in the UK. The current immigration rules are restrictive and due to government policy over the years, change regularly.
Expert UK Immigration Solicitors
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 EEA Family Permit application. Our expert team offer some of the following services:
- 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 a UK law firm based in Middle Temple, London and our solicitors are fully authorised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Contact our professional personal 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.