An EEA family permit grants 'entry clearance' to the UK, similar to a visa. It is for nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are family members of EEA nationals. Our team are specialists at assisting our clients through the Family Permit application process.

An EEA family permit gives the holder the right to enter the UK, is free of charge and is valid for 6 months. You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need within that time.

Non-EEA national

When the permit expires, this can then be extended further by applying for a Residence Card or for a pre-settled status to prove your right to live and work in the UK. If you are a non-EEA national coming to the UK to join your partner or extended family who are EEA nationals and you plan to stay here in the long term, then it is mandatory to apply for this permit before travelling. If you do not, you could be denied entry to the UK and experience major inconvenience and delays. There are currently 2 different family permits:

  • The EU Settlement Scheme family permit
  • The EEA family permit

The relevant permit to apply for depends on your specific circumstances. Our experts will discuss your situation with you and advise you on the most suitable option.

Non-EEA national
Applying for an Administrative Review

Eligibility Requirements

To obtain a family permit, you must be a family member of an EEA citizen who is resident in the UK. This permit applies to spouses, civil partners, children or grandchildren under 21 years old, or a dependent parent or grandparent. You can also qualify as an extended family member or unmarried partner. You need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme family permit if your close family member has a ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme. Otherwise, you will need to apply for an EEA Family Permit. To qualify for an EEA Family Permit, you must show that:

  • You are a family member or extended family member of an EEA national who is already in the country or will be travelling with you within six months of your application
  • If the EEA national is already in Britain and has been here for three months or more, they must be exercising their treaty rights as an employee, self- employed person, student or self-sufficient person
  • You will remain in the same household with the EU national as their dependent

Applicants need to meet the following requirements:

  • Are from outside of the European Economic Area
  • They are related to a family member or an extended relative of an EEA national
  • They either meet the requirements of rights of residence or can make a Surinder Singh application

Procedure and Timescales

EEA Family Permit can only be obtained from outside the UK. If you are already in the UK, you should apply for an EEA Residence Card. An EEA Family Permit application can be submitted at the nearest British visa application centre authorised to deal with such matters. You will be required to submit an online application form and original evidence to support your relationship to the EEA national and their exercise of Treaty rights in the UK. Processing times vary enormously between countries and can take from 1 week to 2 months or more.

Appeal Against Refusal

If your application for a family permit is refused, you will have a right of appeal. The appeal should be filed within 28 days from the date of receipt of the refusal letter. Our experienced solicitors can represent you in your appeal against the family permit refusal decision.

EEA Residence Card

When the permit is granted, the non-EEA national member can and should apply for an EEA Residence Card. Although the card can be applied for at any time, we recommend that it is acquired before the family permit expires.

Impact of Brexit:

With the new regulations, EU Nationals and their family members can continue to live, work and study in the UK if they can demonstrate that they have lived in the UK on or before the 30th of June 2021. Therefore, if you want to apply for EEA family permit then it is vital that you submit your application as soon as possible.

Our Expertise

Our specialist immigration solicitors will be by your side throughout all stages of your application. They will discuss your circumstances and present you with options on how to proceed. Legal advice should always be sought before an application is submitted.
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How to Get in Contact

Please call us on 01234 350 244 or email us at for further information and advice about our family visa application services. We will happily provide you with a free initial discussion about your individual circumstances.

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