What is an EEA Family Permit?

An EEA Family Permit can make it easier to enter the UK. Without an EEA Family Permit, you may find you are delayed on entering or re-entering the UK, or you could be refused entry. The permit is free and is valid for six months. During its validity, it can also be used to evidence your right to work in the UK.

Who can apply?

An EEA Family Permit can be obtained by those who are family or extended family members of EEA nationals.

You may also be eligible if you have a ‘derivative right of residence’, ‘retained right of residence’, or if you can make what is known as a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

Family members of EEA nationals

You can qualify for an EEA Family Permit if you are joining an EEA national who is a ‘qualified’ person – that is, someone who is working, self-employed, self-sufficient or studying in the UK (and who holds comprehensive sickness insurance) , or who already has a permanent right of residence in the UK. You can now also apply if your family member formerly held permanent residence prior to naturalising as a British citizen.

You can apply either as a family member of an EEA national or as an extended family member.

Derivative rights of residence

If you are the primary carer of an EEA child, British child or British dependant adult who is living in the UK, or if you are the child or the primary carer of a child of an EEA former worker, you may be able to apply for an EEA Family Permit through a derivative right of residence.

Retained rights of residence

If you previously had a right of residence in the UK through a family member who was an EEA national, you may be able to apply for an EEA Family Permit on the grounds that you have a retained right of residence. This application would be appropriate if, for example, your marriage to that person has come to an end or if they have died or left the UK. There are strict criteria to be met though in terms of the period of time your marriage lasted and whether your ex partner was exercising Treaty Rights at the time your marriage was terminated.

Surinder Singh application

EEA nationals can apply for a Residence Document if they have previously lived in another EEA country with their British citizen family member. An application made on this basis is known as a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.    

These applications are particularly scrutinised and where a case-worker determines that the purpose of the application is to circumvent the terms of the Immigration Rules then the application will be refused.

How we can help

At Drummond Miller, we have over 25 years of experience in helping people to navigate the UK immigration system. While no-one can guarantee that every application will be accepted, we have an extremely high success rate, which is why so many satisfied clients recommend our service to their friends and family. You can rely on us to give you the best advice and guidance to ensure that your application has the maximum chance of success.

What's next?

We have been helping clients solve their personal immigration problems for over 25 years. To find out if we can assist you and then to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation, contact our experienced team in either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

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