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Rights of Non-EU Spouses of EU Citizens in the UK

Can Non-EU citizens join their EU spouses in the UK?

As a non-EU citizen married to an EU national living in the UK, you might be eligible to join your EU spouse in the UK through EUSS Family Permit, Spouse Visa, or Dependant Visa depending on your spouse immigration status in the UK and your relationship.

The rights of a non-EU spouse of an EU citizen in the UK will depend on the immigration route you choose. Rights of a non-EU spouse may include the right to live, work, and study in the UK. You may also have the right to acquire settlement in the UK (ILR) once you have lived here for the required qualifying period of 5 years. However, please note these rights of a non-EU spouse will only apply once you have successfully joined your EU spouse living in the UK.

EUSS Family Permit: If your EU spouse has been living in the UK before the end of 2020

The EUSS Family Permit scheme allows a non-EU spouse of an EU national who has been living in the UK to come here for a period of up to 6 months. EUSS Family Permit holders are able to live, work and study during their time in the UK. They can also apply for Pre-settled status under the EUSS once in the UK and gain full Settled Status after 5 years here. To apply for an EUSS Family Permit, your EU national spouse must have started living in the UK on or before 31st December 2020. If your EU national spouse came to the UK after this date, you will need to apply for a visa instead.

To be eligible for an EUSS Family Permit, your relationship with your EU national spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner (you must have been living together for at least 2 years) must have started by 31st December 2020.

For more information, please see our page EUSS Family Permit.

Spouse visa: If your EU spouse has settled status or ILR

As a non-EU citizen married to an EU citizen who is living in the UK with settled status or ILR, you may be eligible for a Spouse Visa under the family migration route. To make a successful application for a spouse visa, your spouse must:

  • Have EUSS Settled Status or
  • Have EUSS Pre-settled Status and have started living in the UK before the end of 2020.
  • Have ILR

You will also need to prove that you are married or in a civil partnership with your spouse or have been living together in a relationship for a minimum of 2 years. Applicants must also meet the following requirements:

  • English language requirement (to level A1 in speaking and listening)
  • Financial requirement – have a joint income with their partner of at least £18,600

Spouse visa holders can stay in the UK for an initial period of 33 months and then extend this for a further 30 months. After 5 years in the UK, it is then possible for spouse visa holders to apply for ILR to remain here permanently.

For more information, please see our Spouse Visa page

Dependant visa: If your EU spouse has a work visa

If you are a non-EU national with an EU national spouse living in the UK on a work visa (such as the Skilled Worker visa), you can join them as a dependant family member. As a dependant of a UK work visa holder, you can stay in the UK with your EU national spouse for as long as they remain in the UK.

A number of other visas also allow dependant family members to join holders in the UK, including business visas (e.g. Start-up visa and Innovator visa) and study visas.

To acquire a dependant visa, your EU national spouse must hold a valid work visa in the UK, and you must be married or in a civil partnership with your spouse or have been living together in a relationship for a minimum of 2 years.

Applicants must also have sufficient funds to support themselves in the UK; £285 plus £315 for one child and £200 for each additional child.

In most cases, as a dependant family member, you will be able to apply for ILR for dependants after 5 years of living in the UK.

For more information, please see our PBS dependant visa page.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all aspects of personal and business immigration. Our immigration lawyers can handle your UK visa application as the non-EU spouse of an EU national living in the UK. Our services include:

  • Check and advise on which immigration route is most suitable for your needs and to meet your long-term goals as a non-EU spouse of an EU citizen in the UK
  • Handle your visa or settlement application on your behalf
  • Handle your Dependant visa extension
  • Handle a UK visa refusal

For assistance with your application to join your spouse in the UK, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk.

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Reiss Edwards Reviews

O.L

"Andy Tieu is absolutely amazing, as a lawyer myself I can categorically say tha...

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Kiran Sardar

"I found Joe very helpful and tremendous patience which is a must in this profes...

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Cheyam Shaked

"Anna Foley was the lawyer helping my partner obtain an EEA EFM visa. She was ou...

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Isaac .T

"Professional service. I was very impressed with the fact that my ILR applicatio...

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