The infamous Brexit finally happened this year; UK has left the European Union as of 31st January 2020. As per the conditions of the withdrawal agreement, the transitional provisions governing EU free movement rights are all set to expire on 31st December 2020. All EEA nationals intending to settle in the UK on a long-term basis must be in the UK by 31st December 2020. This deadline is also applicable to the non-EEA national family members of EEA nationals intending to join them in the UK.
Family members of EEA nationals are categorized as ‘close or direct’ and ‘extended’ family members.
Close or Direct family members of EEA nationals are
- Spouse or civil partner
- Children or grandchildren under the age of 21 years or dependent child or grandchild of any age
- Dependent parent or grandparent
*Children and grandchildren or dependent parent and grandparent of the EEA national’s non-EEA national spouse are also considered as close or direct family members.
Extended family members of EEA nationals are
- Sisters, brothers, cousins, uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews (who are dependent on the EEA national, or are a member of their household, or have a serious health condition which makes them reliant on the EEA national)
- Unmarried or durable partner of the EEA national and can evidence that they have lived together for 2 years.
Non-EEA national family members of EEA nationals currently residing in the UK or entering the UK before 31st December 2020 are required to apply for entry clearance (family permit) to accompany them or join them in the UK; through either:
- EEA Family Permit [for close and extended family members of EEA nationals] or
- EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit [for close family members of EEA nationals having a status under the EU Settlement Scheme or a pending application thereof]
Both of the above said family permits, when granted, are valid for 6 months during which time the family member of the EEA national may enter the UK.
*If the EEA national you are intending to join in the UK has been resident in the UK for more than 3 months, then you would have to evidence that they are a qualified person.
Qualified persons are those EEA nationals who are either a:
- Job seeker
- Employed (worker)
The EEA nationals and their non-EEA national family members who have entered the UK before the end of the transitional provisions i.e. by 31st December 2020 would have to register under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to obtain a status for their long term residence in the UK. The statuses granted under the EU Settlement Scheme are as follow:
Settled status (Indefinite Leave to Remain):
This is granted to those EEA nationals and their family members who, on the date of their application, have completed 5 years of residence in the UK.
Pre-settled status (Limited Leave to Remain for 5 years):
This is granted to those EEA nationals and their family members who, on the date of their application, have not been resident in the UK long enough to be eligible for settled status.
Read More – Will Covid-19 cause EU Settled Status scheme to extend?
Good news :
Non-EEA national family members of EEA nationals (who have entered the UK before 31st December 2020) may apply to join them in the UK even after 31st December 2020!
In order to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme for a status to remain in the UK (deadline 30th June 2021), these family members would have to prove all of the below:
- The EEA national who they have joined in the UK has been granted a settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- Their relationship to the EEA national began prior to 31st December 2020
- Their relationship to the EEA national is still subsisting on the date of application
The new immigration system to take effect from 1 January 2021 will put EEA nationals on the same plane as Non-EEA nationals, which means that they and their family members would have to go through the same routes to settlement as non-EEA nationals and their family members (including the stringent limitations on the family members who are allowed to join them in the UK).
If you are the family members of an EEA national who is either in the UK or is going to enter the UK before 31st December 2020, the days are literally numbered! You have to take action to make those EEA or EU Settlement Scheme Family Permits now!
Our UK Visa immigration experts have helped numerous non-EEA nationals reunite with their EEA national family members in the UK. The SmartMove2UK provides seamless UK immigration advice, ensuring that the applicant meets all the requirements set out under the UK Visa Immigration Rules. Should you require help with your UK Visa applications, you can contact our expert UK EEA Family Permit Visa Consultant on the below mentioned contact details and book your appointment with SmartMove2UK’s UK Qualified Solicitors.
Our experts UK EEA Family Permit Visa Consultant are based in Mumbai | Delhi | Gurgaon | Chandigarh | Bangalore and London.