You can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit if you’re the close family member of an EEA or Swiss national or a qualifying British Citizen. An EEA or Swiss National who does not also have British or Irish Citizenship must usually have ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme. You can also apply if you’re the ‘close’ family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
What is a family permit?
A Family Permit is an immigration document that is permanently affixed to a blank page in your passport and assists the holder to enter the United Kingdom as a family member of a citizen of a contracting state to the European Economic Area agreement, a Swiss citizen, a British or Irish Citizen, or an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
Please see the requirements for a Family Permit below:
- You can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit to come to the UK if:
- you’re the ‘close’ family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen, a qualifying British Citizen, or an eligible person of Northern Ireland; and
- the person you’re joining is in the UK already or travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application.
- The person you’re joining must also either:
- an EEA or Swiss citizen with ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme or would be eligible were they to apply for it;
- an Irish citizen;
- an eligible person of Northern Ireland;
- a British citizen who also has EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship; or
- a British citizen with whom you lived with in another EEA country or Switzerland on or before 31 December 2020. The British citizen must have been working, self-employed, studying, or self-sufficient in the country where you lived together.
- To be an eligible person of Northern Ireland, the person you’re joining must:
- have British, Irish, or dual British and Irish citizenship
- have been born in Northern Ireland
- have at least one parent who held British, Irish, or dual citizenship (or without any restriction on their period of residence) at the time of their birth
- Qualifying as a ‘close’ family member
- You can apply as the person’s unmarried partner if you can evidence that you were living together in a relationship akin to a marriage or civil partnership for at least two full years prior to 31 December 2020.
- If you do not qualify as an unmarried partner, you must be the person’s spouse or civil partner or related to them (or to their spouse or civil partner) as their child or grandchild under 21 years old, or dependent child or grandchild of any age
- dependent parent or grandparent
- You must be able to evidence that your relationship began on or before 31 December 2020, unless you are a child who was born or adopted after this date.
- There is no fee – a family permit is free.
- An EUSS family permit is valid for 6 months, unless:
- you plan to arrive in the UK on or after 1 April 2021
- your application is approved more than three months ahead of your planned arrival date
In this case, it’s valid for 4 months from your planned arrival date.
- You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need whilst your permit is valid.
- You are permitted to work in the UK as soon as you are granted the permit and have applied for a National Insurance Number.
- You can stay in the UK after your family permit expires if you meet certain eligibility criteria:
- The person you’re joining must either:
- Be in the UK already; or
- Be travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application.
You can only apply for initial entry clearance from your country of residency. Standard processing time for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit is 15-business days, and your passport will be retained by UKVI during this time. We do not recommend that you book any travel to the UK until you are in receipt of a valid permit.
Please note that from 1 December 2020, family members can no longer apply for a status under the EUSS if they are in the UK as a visitor, other than as a marriage visitor. They will, therefore, need to apply for and qualify for a permit prior to travelling to the UK. The permit cannot be applied for from within the UK.
Please contact us if you require assistance in making an application for a permit.