What is an EEA family permit?
An European Economic Area family permit is a form of an Entry Clearance for non-EEA family members of EEA nationals who are willing to accompany EEA nationals to the UK or want to join them here if they are already in the UK exercising Treaty Rights.
What are the requirements for an issue of an EEA family permit?
In order for you to be issued an EEA family permit the following requirements must be met:
- You have to be a family member of an EEA national;
- An EEA national must be residing in the UK in accordance with European Economic Area Regulations, i.e. must be exercising Treaty rights in the UK as a worker, or self-employed, or a jobseeker, or self-sufficient, or a student. Alternatively, an EEA national will be travelling to the UK in six months time after the date of the application and will reside here in accordance with European Economic Area Regulations as defined above on arrival in the UK;
- You will be accompanying the EEA national to the UK or will join him here.
EEA family permit after Brexit
There are no immediate legal consequences to EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members that flow directly from the referendum result to leave the European Union (EU). This means that the same rules apply for non-EEA family members of EEA nationals as they applied before ‘Brexit’. The way that the rules will change for EEA nationals and their non-EEA family members after the UK actually leaves the EU, remains the matter of negotiation between the EU and the UK.
How long does it take to process your application?
Priority must be given at ports for EEA family permit applications. However, there are no precise timescale within which the decision must be made to issue or to refuse the application. It usually differs from country to country.
If you wish to know the approximate timescale within which your application is likely to be decided in the particular country, please get in touch with one of our immigration specialists.
How long an EEA family permit is issued for?
The permit is issued for 6 months. A person can enter and exit the UK as many times as they require within 6 months.
What to do if your permit is about to expire?
If your permit expires while you are outside the UK, you will have to make a fresh application for another permit to be issued to be able to enter the country.
How to extend your permit?
If your permit expires while you are outside the UK, you need to make a fresh application for another permit to be issued before travelling to the UK.
If you are in the UK, you have to apply for EEA family member residence card before the expiry of your family permit.
How to appeal if your application was refused?
If your application is refused, you should be given full out of country right of appeal, unless you have not provided evidence of the EEA family member’s nationality, or, that you are related, as claimed, to the EEA national.
You have to exercise your right of appeal within 28 days after you received the refusal decision. Your appeal will be heard by an independent Immigration Judge at the First-Tier Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber) in the UK.
We recommend contacting an immigration specialist before appealing against an adverse decision to refuse to issue an European Economic Area family permit as it is a very complicated and lengthy procedure which requires specialist knowledge. We may sometimes advise you to make a fresh application instead of appealing to save time and money depending on the grounds on which your application has been refused.