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What is the Relationship Evidence Required for an EU settlement Scheme Application?

With a couple of months until the end of the Brexit transition period, it is becoming increasingly essential that those eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme make their application. If this applies to you, as long as you are in the UK before the end of 2020, you have until 30th June 2021 to apply. In this article, we will discuss the evidence required by eligible family members of an individual settled in the UK when applying under the UK Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

What is the EUSS?

The EUSS was introduced in 2019 by the British Government to allow EU nationals living in the UK to remain here following Brexit. This is necessary because, in 2020, free movement between EU states and the UK will come to an end.

Who is Eligible to Apply for the EUSS?

The EUSS is open to EU, European Economic Area (EEA), and Swiss citizens. It is also available to those who are not EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, but their family member is.

Family members may include a:

  • spouse
  • civil partner
  • durable partner (unmarried partnership akin to marriage or civil partnership)
  • child, grandchild or great-grandchild (including of the spouse or civil partner)
  • dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent (including of the spouse or
  • civil partner)
  • dependent relative

If you have an EEA family member who is living in the UK, you will be able to apply under the EUSS on your own right if you are also an EEA national (i.e. based on your own residency in the UK). The Home Office guidance states, “Where the applicant is a European Economic Area (EEA) citizen resident in the UK as a family member of an EEA citizen resident here, the applicant will be able to rely on their own continuity of residence as a relevant EEA citizen to apply for status”. If this is the case, then you will not need to provide any evidence of your relationship to your EEA family member living in the UK.

If you are applying under the EUSS as a non-EEA family member of an EEA citizen living in the UK, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship with that person.

What Evidence will I Need to Provide When Applying under the EUSS as an Eligible Family Member?

The evidence required by the Home Office to process your EUSS application will depend on the relationship category. Each item of evidence of your relationship can be scanned or photographed and uploaded as part of your EUSS application.

The types of relevant documents which can be used are as follows:

Spouse or civil partner

In the first instance, if you have a family permit or residence card issued to you on the basis that you’re the spouse or civil partner of an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland, this will satisfy the Home Office of your relationship. If you do not have one of these, then other proof may be used, including:

  • a valid document of record of a marriage or civil partnership recognised under the law of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • a valid overseas registration document for a same sex relationship which is entitled to be treated as a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004

If you are not married, then you will need to provide evidence of your durable relationship (showing that you have been together for two more years), in the form of:

  • bank statements or utility bills in joint names at the same address
  • residential mortgage statement or tenancy agreement in joint names
  • official correspondence that links you at the same address

You will also need to provide evidence of joint finances, business ventures or commitments for at least the past two years, including:

  • tax returns, business contracts or investments
  • Evidence of joint responsibility for a child

If you have children with your partner, then you will need to provide:

  • the child’s birth certificate which names both parents
  • a custody agreement showing that you’re living together and sharing parental responsibility

Children or grandchildren

If you do not have a family permit or residence card issued to you on the basis that you’re the child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the EEA or Swiss citizen (or of their spouse or civil partner), then the following evidence may be requested:

  • full birth certificate
  • a court order, such as a special guardianship order
  • other documents which show you are the direct descendant of the EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland (or of their spouse or civil partner)

If you need to show evidence of your financial dependency, you may be asked to provide bank statements or money transfers, and evidence you need and receive personal care due to serious health grounds (e.g. a letter from a hospital consultant).

Dependant relatives

A dependant relative may include the brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece or cousin of an EEA or Swiss citizen. To apply under the EUSS as a relative, you will need to provide sufficient proof that you are dependant on the EEA citizen living in the UK, in the form of either a family permit or residence card. In addition, you will also need to prove that your relationship your family member is ongoing.

Wrapping up

Applying under the EUSS as an eligible family member of an EEA citizen in the UK is, thankfully, a relatively straightforward process. It is also free to apply. If you are unsure if you are eligible, or if you have the evidence needed to support your application, speak to immigration Solicitors who will be able to assist you. Doing so will give you the confidence that when you do apply, you have done everything possible to ensure your rights of residence in the UK are protected.

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