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EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit

The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit allows certain EEA and non-EEA citizens to travel to and enter the UK in order to join or accompany a close family member who is a relevant citizen of the UK, Northern Ireland, or the EEA.

Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your EUSS family permit.

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What is an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit?

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit allows a person from within the EEA (including EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein) or outside the EEA to come to the UK if they are the family member of someone from the EEA, the UK, or Northern Ireland.

The purpose of the EUSS Family Permit is to ensure the holder can travel to the UK, gain entry once they arrive, and join their family member. Without an EUSS Family Permit, there is a risk of refusal of travel or entry; as the guidance states, “Without one, you might not get a boarding pass or may be refused entry into the UK”.

EUSS Family Permits are issued for up to 6 months, and during this time, holders can work, study, and travel in and out of the UK freely.

Once in the UK, EUSS Family Permit holders may be able to stay longer, and eventually indefinitely, if they are eligible to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled status.

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit vs EEA Family Permit

EEA Family Permits are no longer available and have been replaced by the EUSS Family Permit scheme. Like the EUSS Family Permit, the EEA Family Permit allowed non-EEA nationals to come to the UK by virtue of their close family relationship to an EU/EEA national living here.

If you already hold an EEA family permit, it will no longer be valid as of 30th June 2021.

Eligible family members should now apply for an EUSS Family Permit instead of an EEA Family Permit.

Who is eligible to apply for the EUSS family permit?

There are several ways in which you may be eligible for an EUSS Family Permit, as follows:

1. As an eligible family member of a person from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

  • To qualify under this route, your family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein must have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020.
  • This route is also available to family members of those with British citizenship if they also have either a) their citizenship from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, if they lived in the UK before becoming a British citizen or b) dual nationality with an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein. In this case, they must have settled in the UK prior to 16th July 2012.
  • Family members of ‘frontier workers’ can also apply under this route – frontier workers travel to the UK for work but live in their home country.

2. As a family member of a person who used to live in the UK (retained right of residence)

Under this route, it is possible to acquire an EUSS Family Permit if a family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Lichtenstein used to live in the UK, but they have since died, left the UK, or the family relationship has broken down. To qualify, your family member must have resided in the UK by the deadline of 31st December 2020.

3. As a family member of a British citizen (Surinder Singh route)

This route allows a family member of a British citizen to enter the UK if they lived together in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein prior to 1st January 2021.

4. As a family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland

You will also be able to apply for an EUSS Family Permit if you can show you have a family member who is Irish, British or a dual British and Irish citizen who was born in Northern Ireland. The rules also state, “When they were born, they must also have had a parent who held British, Irish or dual citizenship (or had no restriction on how long they could stay in Northern Ireland)”.

Eligible family members

Only eligible family members can apply for an EUSS Family Permit, these include a:

  • Spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • Child or grandchild under 21
  • Dependent child or grandchild over 21
  • Dependent parent or grandparent
  • Family members who were adopted under an adoption order that’s recognised in UK law.

You will be able to apply for an EUSS Family Permit if you are an eligible family member of:

  • An EEA national with EUSS status (even if that person is now deceased)
  • A person who has dual EEA and British citizenship
  • An Irish citizen who either has Settled Status in the UK or has lived in the UK for some time prior to 1st July 2021;
  • A British or Irish citizen who was born in Northern Ireland.
  • A Frontier Worker permit holder

To check if you are eligible for an EUSS Family Permit, speak to one of our specialist immigration Solicitors on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk. If you are not eligible, they will explain the other immigration options available to you and your family members.

How to apply for an EUSS family permit

  • The application process for an EUSS Family Permit must be completed online
  • There is no application fee for an EUSS Family Permit
  • You will not need to pay the immigration healthcare surcharge when you apply for an EUSS Family Permit
  • You must be outside the UK to apply for an EUSS Family Permit
  • There is no deadline to apply for an EUSS Family Permit
  • You may need to book an appointment to have your biometrics taken (i.e. your fingerprints and photo) at a local application centre in your country of residence. How you can provide your biometrics will be explained to you when you complete your application form.
  • Your EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit will be valid for either 4 or 6 months.

Stay in the UK after EUSS family permit

As an EUSS Family Permit holder, if you plan to stay in the UK beyond the 4 or 6-month period, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). This will allow you to remain in the UK with pre-settled status, and after 5 years, gain settlement (Settled Status).

It is important to plan ahead as you will need to apply to the EUSS within 3 months of your arrival in the UK or before your family permit expires. If this timeframe has already passed, you may be able to apply if you have “reasonable grounds” for a late application (e.g. for medical reasons or if you were a victim of domestic abuse).

References:

GOV.UK: Apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to join family in the UK

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