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EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME FAMILY PERMIT

EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME FAMILY PERMIT

The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit is available to non-EEA citizens who wish to travel to and enter the UK in order to join or accompany a close family member who is a relevant EEA citizen, including EEA or Swiss nationals with ‘settled’ status or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permits are also available to non-EEA citizens who wish to join or accompany a close family member who is an eligible person of Northern Ireland or an eligible naturalised British citizen.

Requirements for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

In order to qualify for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

  • You are a non-EEA citizen;
  • You are the close family member of a relevant EEA citizen;
  • The relevant EEA citizen is resident in the UK or will be travelling to the UK within 6 months;
  • You will be accompanying the relevant EEA citizen to the UK or joining them in the UK;
  • You are not the spouse, civil partner or durable partner of a relevant EEA citizen where either you or your partner have been granted an EEA Family Permit issued under the EEA Regulations or otherwise have been granted leave under or outside the Immigration Rules.

The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

To discuss your EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit application with one of our immigration barristers, contact our EU Settlement Scheme Lawyers on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form below.

Close family members of relevant EEA citizens

The following close family members of relevant EEA citizens are eligible to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit:

  • Spouse of a relevant EEA citizen;
  • Civil partner of a relevant EEA citizen;
  • Child (or grandchild or great-grandchild) of a relevant EEA citizen or of their spouse or civil partner;
  • Dependent parent (or grandparent or great-grandparent) of the relevant EEA citizen or of their spouse or civil partner,

Relevant EEA citizen

The following persons are considered relevant EEA citizens:

  • EEA or Swiss nationals who have been granted ‘pre-settled’ status or ‘settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme;
  • Irish citizens who meet the criteria for ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme (they do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme);
  • Eligible persons of Northern Ireland (persons who have British, Irish or dual British and Irish citizenship, were born in Northern Ireland and have at least one parent who held British, Irish or dual citizenship (or without any restriction on their period of residence) at the time of their birth) who meet the criteria for ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme (even though they cannot apply);
  • British citizens who also have EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EEA or Swiss citizen before gaining British citizenship.

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit or EEA Family Permit?

Until 30 June 2021, the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit and the EEA Family Permit will operate alongside each other and provide separate routes for entering the UK.  After this date, it will no longer be possible to apply for an EEA Family Permit.

If you are seeking to enter the UK as a non-EEA citizen family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen who is exercising Treaty rights, as implemented in UK law through the EEA Regulations, you should apply for an EEA Family Permit on or before 30 June 2021.

The following non-EEA citizen family members may not be eligible for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit but may be eligible for an EEA Family Permit if applying on or before 30 June 2021:

  • Extended family members as defined in the EEA Regulations: durable partners and dependent relatives; 
  • Persons with a derivative right of residence in the UK (commonly known as ‘Chen’, ‘Ibrahim and Teixeira’ and ‘Zambrano’ cases); 
  • Persons who have lived with a British citizen exercising EU Treaty rights in another EEA country before returning with them to the UK to live (commonly known as ‘Surinder Singh’ cases); 
  • Persons whose EEA or Swiss citizen family member has not been granted leave under the EU Settlement Scheme (and whose family member is not an Irish citizen, or a relevant naturalised British citizen, who would qualify for EU Settlement Scheme leave were they to apply, or were they able to do so)

Non-EEA citizens who hold a valid biometric residence card

If you are a non-EEA citizen family member and hold a valid biometric residence card (a valid residence card or permanent residence card issued by the UK under the EEA Regulations) then you can travel to the UK with that document and a valid passport. You can also apply directly for leave under the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK.

Applying for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

Applications for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit can only be made from outside the UK.

Application Fee for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

The Home Office does not charge an application fee for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit.

Applicants for EU Settlement Scheme Family Permits are also not required to pay the Immigration Health Charge.

Validity period of an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permits are valid for 6 months. You will be able to enter the UK as many times as you wish during this period.

Staying on in the UK

If you wish to stay in the UK beyond the validity period of your EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit then you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.

Forthcoming Changes to the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

From 1 January 2021, EU Settlement Scheme Family Permits will also be available to specified EEA citizens who are family members of another EEA citizen and who are not eligible in their own right because they have not lived in the UK prior to 31 December 2020 or their residence has been broken.

Under the changes, if applying before 1 July 2021, the EEA citizen will also not need to have actually been granted ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme.  Instead they will just need to show that they would be granted if they made a valid application before 1 July 2021. After 1 July 2021 they will be expected to have made an application in any case.

A Statement of Changes to the Immigration Rules also states that a joining family member arriving after 1 April 2021 can apply within 3 months of arrival or show reasonable grounds for not applying within this 3 month period. This suggests that such applicants may not need to meet the deadline of 1 July 2021. 

How our immigration barristers can help

Our immigration barristers regularly assist family members of EEA nationals to relocate to, and settle in, the UK, including via the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit route.

Whether you require expert advice on the requirements for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit, an independent assessment of your prospects of qualifying for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit or professional assistance with preparing an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit application or appeal, our immigration barristers can help.

We pride ourselves on being approachable and proactive in understanding and meeting our clients’ needs. We are a highly driven team, dedicated to providing clear and reliable immigration advice to family members of EEA nationals as part of a professional and friendly service.

We can also assist with

  • Applications for EU Settlement Scheme Pre-Settled Status

    In order to qualify for Pre-Settled Status you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You are a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a person with a derivative right to reside; or
    • You are a person with a Zambrano right to reside; and
    • You started living in the UK by 31 December 2020; and
    • You are not eligible for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme solely because you have not completed a continuous qualifying period of residence of at least 5 years.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for EU Settlement Scheme Settled Status

    In order to qualify for Settled Status you will need to satisfy UK Visas & Immigration that:

    • You are a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a family member of a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a family member who has retained the right of residence by virtue of a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen; or
    • You are a person with a derivative right to reside; or
    • You are a person with a Zambrano right to reside; and
    • You started living in the UK by 31 December 2020; and
    • You have completed a continuous qualifying period of residence of at least 5 years.

    The exact requirements you will need to satisfy will vary depending on your circumstances.  You may want to speak to an immigration lawyer for expert advice.

  • Applications for British Citizenship

    Applications for British Citizenship can usually be submitted after Settled Status has been held for 12 months and other requirements have been met.

    In order to be naturalised as a British citizen, you will need to meet certain statutory criteria with regard to your immigration status, length of residence in the UK, future intentions, knowledge of the English language and life in the UK, and good character.  The requirements for British Citizenship by Naturalisation vary slightly depending on whether you are married to a British citizen or not.

WHAT CAN WE HELP YOU WITH?

To arrange an initial consultation meeting with one of our immigration barristers, contact our EEA Nationals and Family Members immigration team on 0203 617 9173 or complete our enquiry form.

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