If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national living in the UK with Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme after 31 December 2020, your family members may be able to join you subject to certain conditions.
If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national and you do not currently hold Pre-Settled or Settled Status, we strongly encourage those who are eligible to apply for either Pre-Settled or Settled Status before 31 December 2020 where possible. The deadline for applying for Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021, although it is advisable to apply at the earliest opportunity. Please see our previous blog on this topic for further information: https://www.gherson.com/blog/end-brexit-transition-period-and-eu-settlement-scheme.
Currently, there are two different types of family permits available to family members who wish to join their EU/EEA family member in the UK:
1. The EUSS family permit; and
2. The EEA family permit.
Although at present both permits are running concurrently, the EEA family permit will close after the transition period ends on 31 December 2020.
- The EUSS family permit
If you are the close family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen and are not living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you will be able to join your EU/EEA family member in the UK after 31 December 2020 provided your relationship existed prior to 31 December 2020 and still exists at the time of application.
Close family members are defined as spouses, civil partners, children and grandchildren under the age of 21, dependent children and grandchildren and dependent parents and grandparents. Note that if you are an unmarried partner, you will not be eligible to apply for a EUSS family permit.
Upon arrival in the UK, the close family member will be required to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
What if the close family member entered the UK as a visitor after 31 December 2020, could they apply for resident status from within the UK?
If your close family member enters the UK as a visitor after 31 December 2020, they will not be eligible to switch in-country (from inside the UK) under the EU Settlement Scheme and they will have to leave the UK and apply under the UK immigration routes available at the time (i.e. for a EUSS family permit or under Appendix FM).
- The EEA family permit
If you are the close family member or extended family member of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen, you may also be eligible to apply for an EEA family permit to enter the UK. However, this route will only be open to those applying to enter the UK before 31 December 2020.
The EU/EEA or Swiss citizen the family member is joining under this route must:
- currently be residing in the UK prior to 31 December 2020; or be
- accompanying the family member to the UK within six months of the date of application.
If the EU/EEA citizen has been living in the UK for longer than three months, they must also be a “qualified person” under the EEA Regulations 2016. This means that they must be exercising treaty rights as an EU/EEA national within three months of entering the UK, and must do so before 31 December 2020. Please see our previous blog (as mentioned above) (https://www.gherson.com/blog/end-brexit-transition-period-and-eu-settlement-scheme) for more information on exercising treaty rights in the UK.
If you are the unmarried partner of an EU/EEA citizen and you can show that you have been in a genuine and durable relationship for two years or more (i.e. you have been residing together for two years or more), you may be eligible to apply for an EEA Family Permit.
There are various requirements that must be satisfied in order to qualify as a close family member or extended family member under this route. Please contact Gherson for more information.
If you are the extended family member of an EU/EEA citizen, we strongly encourage you to apply for a family permit, if you are eligible to do so, before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020.
Upon arrival in the UK, the family member must then also apply for either Pre-Settled or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Gherson has a wealth of experience in all aspects of UK immigration law and has assisted many clients with their applications under the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme as well as EUSS and EEA family permit applications. If you have any specific questions or queries in respect of your particular circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us by email at email@example.com or by telephone at +44 (0) 207 724 4488.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.