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EEA Nationals And Family Members

EEA Nationals And Family Members


Anyone who is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland automatically has the right to reside in the UK and can apply for a registration certificate. It is not mandatory to apply for this certificate to live legally in the UK, but it may be required in some cases. Duncan Lewis Solicitors can advise you if you require a registration certificate.


Registration Certificate


If you are a European or a Swiss national exercising your rights as a ‘qualified person’, you can request a Registration Certificate to confirm your right of residence in the UK. 


Whilst the above is not a mandatory requirement for anyone currently in the UK exercising treaty rights, it is certainly a useful document as proof of your residence in the UK. 


This document is usually valid for 5 years, after which, the said document can be used as supporting evidence for application for Permanent Residence (set out below).


Permanent Residence


If you are an EU national who has been residing in the UK and have been a ‘qualified person’ for a continuous period of 5 years, you would be eligible to make an application for a document certifying your permanent residence status.


Certain family members of EU citizens with Permanent Residence would also be eligible to make an application under these rules with some exceptions.


This document is mandatory if you are planning to Naturalise as a British Citizen.


Family members of EEA (and Swiss) Nationals


If you are a family member of an EEA (and Swiss) National who is currently settled in the UK or planning to travel here with the intention of staying on, you may be able to apply to live with them in the UK. There are a number of different options available to you and a member of our immigration team will be able to help you find the one that best suits your circumstances.


For these visas a family member is considered to be:


  • A husband, wife or civil partner;
  • A child or grandchild of you and/or your husband, wife or civil partner who is under 21 years of age or depends on you for financial support; or
  • A parent or grandparent of you or your husband, wife or civil partner, and depends on you for financial support.


Family Permit


An EEA family permit acts similarly to a visa. It gives the holder the right to enter the UK and is valid for 6 months. This can then be extended further by applying for a ‘Residence Card’.


If you are a non-EEA national coming to the UK to join your partner who is an EEA national and you plan to stay here in the long term, you will need to apply for this permit before travelling. If you do not, you could be denied entry at the port and experience major delays when travelling without one.


Residence Cards


A residence card is available to non-EEA nationals who are living in the UK with their EEA national family member. It provides confirmation of the holder’s right to live and work in the UK. It is not mandatory to hold this card but the benefits of obtaining such a card are as follows:


  • Helps you enter the country more easily if you travel;
  • Show employers your right to work;
  • Can confirm your eligibility for certain benefits and services.


This document is valid for 5 years, after which an application can be made for Permanent Residence subject to meeting the requirements.


I am an EU citizen, how will Brexit affect me?


Due to the uncertainty with regards to Brexit we would advise all EU citizens, who are eligible, to apply for a document confirming their status in the UK.


If you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years and can provide evidence that you have been employed, self-employed, a student or have been self-sufficient during this period, we strongly recommend that you apply for a document certifying your permanent residence. Please note that an additional requirement of holding ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ will apply if you were a student or self-sufficient during the five year period.


If you have lived in the UK for less than five years, it would also be advisable for you to obtain a registration certificate evidencing that you are a European national exercising your rights in the UK.


Recently revealed Home Office proposals on Brexit would require EU citizens to apply for ‘settled status’ to remain here indefinitely. The proposals could lead to highly skilled EU migrants being prioritised over lower skilled migrants and EU citizens’ rights to be accompanied here by family members being restricted.


If you are concerned about the impact of Brexit on your status or are considering applying for your family members to join you in the UK, please contact us today on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com.


How do I make an EEA application?


The European Regulations are difficult to navigate and can be confusing for individuals as each case is different and should be taken on its own individual facts and circumstances. Applicants must meet the requirements within the Regulations and also support this with documentary evidence.


Examples of documents that will need to be submitted are:


  • Payslips;
  • P60’s;
  • Bank Statements; and
  • Evidence of residency such as Utility Bills.


Duncan Lewis has extensive experience in assisting both EU nationals and their family members in making applications under the Regulations. We ensure all applications are vetted very carefully prior to submission.


For a free initial consultation over the telephone with one of our expert UK immigration lawyers, call us today on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com.


My EEA application has been refused. What can I do?


Most EEA applications will attract a full right of appeal on refusal. However, it can be a difficult decision to make on whether to appeal against a decision or submit a fresh application and this will often depend on the reasons for refusal.


We understand the anxiety and frustration caused on receiving a rejection of your visa application. We can be on hand to assist at this crucial time and have a wealth of experience in assisting with immigration appeals, from drafting grounds of appeal to preparing for a full hearing with representation.


For a free initial consultation over the telephone with one of our expert UK immigration lawyers, call us today on +44(0)203 114 1198 or e-mail us at privateimmigration@duncanlewis.com.

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