All EEA nationals could come to the UK and reside in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016.
Before Brexit an EU/EEA/Swiss national exercising treaty rights in the UK may want to get a Registration Certificate or document certifying that he/she is a qualified person and to confirm their right of residence under EC law. This was particularly useful when a non-EEA family member wanted to derive rights from the EU/EEA national. Formal permanent residency status can be applied for after 5 years of continually exercising treaty rights. If you have this or indefinite leave to remain you can apply for 'settled' status to remain in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme or apply for British citizenship before 30th June 2021.
EU Settlement Scheme
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021. The deadline for applying was 30th June 2021.
You can still apply if you or a family member were living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and one of the following applies:
- you have a later deadline - for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK
- you have reasonable grounds for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 - for example, you had an illness, or were the victim of domestic abuse
If you’re joining a family member, you can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK, and apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once you’re here. You may be able to apply to the scheme from outside the UK.
You can either:
- apply for a family permit before you come to the UK, and then apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once you’re here
- apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK, if you’re eligible
You can only apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK if either:
- you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have a valid passport or national identity card with a biometric chip
- you’re from somewhere else and you have a UK-issued biometric residence card (if it has not expired)
EEA Family Permit For The UK
EEA Family Permits are issued free of charge, are valid for 6 months from the date of issue and may be used for multiple entries within this time. Family Permits are also issued to persons seeking entry to the UK through 'Surinder Singh' criteria.
You may be able to get an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK if you’re the family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. You may also be able to apply if you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland. The family of some British citizens can also get a permit. You must be outside the UK to apply.
You can apply for the permit if your family member started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. This includes family members who have British citizenship, if they also have:
- their citizenship from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, if they lived in the UK before becoming a British citizen (also known as a ‘Lounes case’)
- dual nationality with an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and they settled in the UK before 16 July 2012 without using their free movement rights (also known as a ‘McCarthy’ case)
You can also apply if your family member lives outside the UK but regularly works in the UK (also known as a ‘frontier worker’).
If you used to have a family member living in the UK
You can apply if you used to have a family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein living in the UK but they’ve died, left the UK or the family relationship has broken down. This is also known as having ‘retained the right of residence’.
Your family member must have lived in the UK by 31 December 2020. If they moved to the UK later, you’ll usually need a visa to come to the UK.
If you’re the family member of a British citizen
You can apply as the family member of a British citizen if you lived together with them in an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. You must have lived there with them before 1 January 2021 before returning with them to the UK.
This is also known as a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.
If you’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland
To be eligible, your family member must be an Irish, British or dual British and Irish citizen who was born in Northern Ireland.
When they were born, they must also have had a parent who held British, Irish or dual citizenship (or had no restriction on how long they could stay in Northern Ireland).
Surinder Singh EEA Family Permit Route
You can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK with an eligible family member if both of the following apply:
- they’re a British citizen
- you lived with them in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein before 31 December 2020
If your relationship with them started before 1 February 2020, you have until 29 March 2022 to apply for a family permit to come back to the UK.
If your relationship with them started on or after 1 February 2020, you will need to have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not returning to the UK by 31 December 2020. You will need to show evidence of why you did not return by then when you apply for your family permit.
You must be:
- their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
- their child or grandchild under 21
- their dependent child or grandchild over 21
- their dependent parent or grandparent
- another type of dependent relative
- Ryan Immigration has experience with complex Surinder Singh style Family Permit applications for the United Kingdom. If you would like advice and assistance with your EEA Family Permit application for the UK then contact us right away.
- Even if your non-EU/EEA family member has a Residence Card for an EU member state we still advise to apply for an EU Family Permit for the UK. Presenting your case at the border is not advised, as cases can be complex and take months to get a decision through the normal application route.
- Being self-sufficiient, a student, employed and self-employed are all acceptable eligibility criteria for the British family member. Other Family Permit eligibility includes: living in another EEA member state and having moved your 'centre of life' there. It must be shown that this is your main residence, you live together and you are integrated into the community/society to a certain extent.
- Ryan Immigration will provide you with all the EEA Family Permit advice that you require, make sure you are claiming the correct or best eligibility path. We can assist you filling in your online application form, to arrange your appointment at the nearest visa application centre and help you to compile your documents, and also check them.
EEA Residence Card For The UK
Permanent Residence Cards will be expiring on 30th December 2020, so you need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme of for British citizenship - if eligible.
EU Citizen Applying For British Passport
Permanent residence status is no longer valid. If you had permanent residence status, you cannot use it to apply for citizenship. You’ll need permission to stay in the UK until you’re granted citizenship. Your permission needs to last until you have had your citizenship ceremony.
In order to apply to become a British citizen as an EU national, you must have 'Settled Status'. You might still be able to apply for settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, if you have not already, giving you permission to stay.
British citizenship applications as an EU national can only be made after having 1 year 'Settled' Status, so this means the time frame is 6 years living in the UK as a qualified person, exercising your EU Treaty Rights. The application for this has many more eligibility factors so please seek professional advice.
Settled status is also known as ‘indefinite leave to remain under the EU Settlement Scheme’ and you need this status for 12 months before you can apply for British citizenship.
These are just simplified notes for guidance purposes. To see if you will be eligible and whether this application is appropriate or necessary for you and/or your family member then contact Ryan Immigration today. There are many other possible scenarios and essential parts of these applications - so working with your dedicated UK immigration advisor should get you the right results.