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EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit - Can I Still Apply for EEA (FM) after Brexit

Much has changed in the UK since the start of 2021 as a result of Brexit. Unfettered trade and customs between the EU and the UK have ended, as has freedom of movement for citizens on both sides. Instead, there is more onerous red tape and restrictions in place, forming a barrier for both people and businesses. From an immigration standpoint, it is still possible for EU and EEA nationals living in the UK to apply for settled status under the EU Settled Status scheme (EUSS), but only for those who were already living here before the end of 2020 and make their application before the end of June 2021. But what about non-EU partner's and close family members of EU nationals living in the UK, can they still apply for an EEA family permit? In this article, we will discuss whether it is still possible for non-EU/EEA nationals with EU/EEA family members living in the UK to apply for an EEA family member (FM) permit.

What is the EEA family permit scheme?

Before we discuss the implications of Brexit on the EEA family permit, it is worth clarifying what this scheme covers. The EEA family permit allows non-EEA nationals to come to the UK by virtue of their close family relationship to an EU/EEA national living here. You may also be able to apply for a permit if you:

  • if you are the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss dependant, the primary carer's child, or the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who previously worked in the UK – this is referred to as a 'derivative right of residence'
  • if you can make a 'Surinder Singh' application after living in an EEA country with a British family member
  • if you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner – this is referred to as a 'retained right of residence'

The scheme is open to the following non-EEA family members with EEA family living in the UK:

  • spouse or civil partners
  • unmarried partners in a lasting relationship
  • children or grandchildren aged under 21
  • dependent children or grandchildren of any age
  • dependent parents or grandparents

The EEA family member must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and working, looking for work, studying or self-sufficient, and have a right of permanent residence here. If your family member already has pre-settled or settled status in the UK, then you should apply for the EUSS family permit instead.

With an EEA family permit, you will be able to stay in the UK for up to six months.

Can I still apply for an EEA family permit?

Yes, the scheme is currently still open for applications, but these will come to an end from 30 June 2021. The guidance from the Home Office advises applicants, "The EEA family permit is ending. After 30 June 2021, they will no longer be valid, and no new applications will be accepted". There is one major caveat, however; your close family relationship must have started by 31 December 2020.

Another key consideration is that even though you can still apply for an EEA family permit, the latest guidance now states, "EEA family permits are usually valid for six months. However, they will not be valid after 30 June 2021, even if there is time left on the permit".

What can I do if I am in the UK on an EEA family permit to extend my stay beyond 30 June 2021?

If you are currently in the UK on an EEA family permit, or you will be soon, you can apply under the EU Settled Status scheme before the end of June 2021. As the current immigration guidance confirms, " If your eligible family member was living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living here after your family permit runs out. If they came to the UK on or after 1 January 2021, you'll usually need to apply for a visa to live, work or study". It is vitally important that if you are in this situation, you make your application before the end of June 2021, as this is the hard cut-off date for all EUSS applications. If granted, you will be given pre-settled status, which will allow you to stay in the UK for up to five years; after five years in the UK, you can apply for full settled status. With settled status, you will be allowed to stay in the UK indefinitely. With pre-settled or settled status, you will be able to:

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS for free, if you can at the moment
  • enrol in education or study in the UK
  • access public funds such as benefits and pensions
  • travel in and out of the UK

You will not, however, be able to bring your own family members to the UK under the EUSS if you arrived after the end of 2021.

After one year of holding full settled status, you will then be able to apply for and acquire British citizenship.

In summary

The EEA family permit offers a potential gateway for non-EEA nationals to join EEA national family members living in the UK, but the scheme will come to an end on 30 June 2021. It is vitally important you apply under the EUSS before this date to ensure your right to remain in the UK. If you are unsure of the process or wish to clarify your position, speak to an immigration Solicitor who will be able to assist you.


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O.L

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As a lawyer myself I can categorically say that he knows his stuff, gentle, responsive, cares about you and not just about the money, very professional.
I mean I can go on and on!

Andy and the entire team at Reiss Edwards are amazing!

Thanks again Andy.

Kiran Sardar


I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this professional as there are lots of emotions always involved in each and every case.

The way they dealt with my case during COVID19 Situation is highly appreciable. I would definitely recommend Joe D. and Anna F. Anna is an amazing lady, her patience is beyond my words.

Her hard work and professionalism have no boundaries. She is the right person for all type of cases.

Thanks to Anna and Joe for all your support and guidance which helped me fulfill my dream.

I would say Reiss Edwards is lucky to have Joe D. and Anna F. Great job Reiss Edwards.

thanks once again. Anna you’re a Gem and a Star.

Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was outstanding. Handling the case with constant correspondence over a lengthy, lockdown delayed 7-month application process. Her expert advice guided us successfully through some difficult times as a result of COVID-19. Some of the best service I have received for any service ever! Often replying to emails late at night, offering to send additional correspondence to the home office and going above and beyond in handling our case! Well done and thank you Reiss Edwards and thank you Anna!!".

Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR application was successful 6 weeks after the submission amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I also think the portfolio put together by the team at Reiss Edwards has played a big part in the quick turnaround of my application".

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"Reiss Edwards did a great job, and so much work, for their reasonable fixed fee. I would heartily recommend them to anyone looking to secure a Visa and /or Visa renewal. I will use them again when mine needs to renew. Great value".

Majlinda Berisha

"The help, the professionalism, the kindness from this team is phenomenal. A massive thank you to Anna Foley.

I have had a really tough time with getting my husband’s visa. My last immigration lawyer made many mistakes that caused stress, disappointments and sadness.

I was weary about getting another lawyer as I thought I was going to go through the same experience but no, it turned out better than what I had hoped or even imagined.

What I received was: constant emails and calls updating me and asking if anything else is needed. If I called and they missed my phone call I would get a call back within 10 minutes. All of my documents were carefully checked and I would get a reply the next day if anything was missing or not correct. There were times that I was impatient and asked to just send the visa off, but was reminded that everything had to be perfect and correct before submitting the application. I was told about every option I had and discussed what the best would be. I was always spoke in a nice, calm, polite manner.

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As a family, we are all grateful to Anna Foley and her firm Reiss Edwards, for doing all the hard work and giving us the best support. Finally We found the best law firm".

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"Highly professional organisation and really supportive solicitors. Ina Iteva the solicitor that was provided to us was a blessing in disguise, as our first solicitor was let go off due to pandemic. She was so supportive and understanding throughout the process, and my husband spouse visa was granted due to their effort and attention to detail. We constantly try to keep in touch with her and consider her as more of a friend now than a solicitor. Sure, to bother her and the firm more in the future".

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"I contacted Reiss Edwards to help me with my wife's UK settlement visa. They acted with utmost professionalism throughout the entire application. I spoke with Joe Dinh, he is an immigration solicitor and he is one of the best solicitors out there. He ensured that there was little to no room for error. At some point I thought he was over cautious. He remained calmed and continued to assure us on our immigration matter. Most people in his position would have panicked but he was calmed and continued to assure us. We received out positive outcome very quickly".

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