EEA Family Permit

If you are not an EEA national but are related to one, this permit is for you. The EEA family permit is for non EEA nationals who are related in certain ways to EEA nationals and are looking to join them in the UK.

Individuals who are in a marital relationship as well as civil partners in relationship with EU nationals may be eligible to apply for an EEA Family Permit. This visa category also allows for dependents to be included in the application. In the event that the party seeking to apply the EEA Family permit is not in the UK, they may have to apply for an Entry clearance from their home countries.

Visa nationals looking join their relatives in the UK either on a permanent basis or on the long term may be eligible for a family permit where their relative is either present in the UK or they are accompanying them to the UK. The form for the EEA Family permit is the form VAF5.

Importantly, certain relatives are recognized for eligibility based on the current immigration rules. Such relatives include:-

  • Husband, wife, or civil partner
  • Children or grandchildren under the age of 21 or dependent
  • Parents or grandparents of the applicant or the EEA/Swiss national, if they are dependent

Requirement for EEA Family Permit

The requirements below are for non EEA nationals resident in the UK

  • The EEA national must be able to demonstrate that they have been exercising their treaty rights in the UK (they must either be employed, self-employed, self-sufficient, etc).
  • Where they are couples, they must be legally married or in a civil partnership.
  • They must have physically met.
  • They must be demonstrate an intention to live together.

Conditions of the EEA Family Permit (where the non EEA national is resident in the UK)

The EEA Family permit is generally issued for a period of 5 years and allows for an unrestricted right to work in the UK for the duration of the time given on the visa. Importantly, in the final month of the permit, you may be eligible to apply for an Indefinite Leave to remain as long as the relationship is ongoing.

The requirements below are for non-EEA nationals not resident in the UK

  • The EEA national can demonstrate that he intends to exercise their Treaty rights (to show that they intend to be either employed, self-employed, self-sufficient, etc) in the UK.
  • The couple must be in a legally binding relationship, marriage or civil partnership.
  • They must also have physically met.
  • There must be an intention to live together
  • The couple must either be coming into the UK together or the EEA national should already be resident in the UK.


Conditions of the EEA Family Permit where the non EEA national is not resident in the UK.

A permit would normally be issued for 6 months. In this period, the non EEA national is able to work full time without restrictions. It is however expected that the EEA national applies for a Residence Permit during this time which will allow them to stay on for 5 years.

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The Institute of Directors (IoD) urged the Government to dismiss this proposal, claiming that it will have an adverse effect on small firms seeking to bring in skilled workers in certain key areas where it is evident that we have shortages. Key sectors like teaching, IT and nursing will be affected.

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