EEA Family Visa is granted for the family members of an EEA national. Any citizen of an EU country taking up residence in the UK in accordance with EU treaty rights is entitled to bring their family with them. ‘Family’ includes a spouse, children under 21 years and any other family members who are part of the same household and remain dependent upon the EU citizen.
The following family members can apply for EEA Family Visa under the 2016 Regulations:
- direct family members, which includes spouses and civil partners;
- direct descendants of the EEA national or their spouse or civil partner who are under 21 years of age and dependants of the EEA national or their spouse or civil partner;
- dependent direct relatives in the ascending line (e.g. parent, grandparent) of the EEA national or their spouse or civil partner;
- direct family members of British citizens claiming a right of admission to the UK under regulation 9 (so-called ‘Surinder Singh’ CJEU judgement cases);
- extended family members, which includes relatives who are not direct family members or unmarried partners in a durable relationship;
- persons who are entitled to a derivative right of residence under regulation 16.
The main advantage of the EEA Family Visa is that there are no work restrictions on the holder of the permit or their dependants. This type of visa can lead to permanent residence in the UK.
How to qualify for EEA Family Visa
EEA Family Visa requires you to provide specified evidences as set out by the The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. All non-EU members of the family accompanying the EU citizen to the UK can apply for an EEA Family Visa permit.
Non-EU family members’ right to remain in the UK are dependent on the EU family member continuing to exercise Treaty Rights in the UK, for example in employment, in business, or by being economically self-sufficient. Within the first 6 months of arrival in the UK, the EU National is advised to apply to the Home Office for an EU Family Visa Residence Permit, and all non-EU family members should apply at the same time for five-year resident stamps to be placed in their passports.
Evidences required for the EEA Family Visa
When applying for a EEA Family Visa, the specified evidences required by the The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 must be provided. Both the EEA sponsor and their family members entering the UK on the EEA Family Visa must satisfy the UK Home Office that satisfy the requirements. Again, with any EEA Family Visa applications, the evidences required would be dependable on case by case and the following are some of the evidences required:
- A valid passport for applicant.
- A valid passport or EEA national identity (ID) card for the EEA national sponsor.
- Evidence of the relationship between the family member and their sponsor.
Getting the right legal advice is important for your EEA Family Visa application and at ICS Legal, we conduct a number of these applications. Following Brexit, the EEA Family Visa applications are taking longer. You can email our team on firstname.lastname@example.org, complete our contact form by clicking here or call us on 0207 237 3388 between the hours of Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Our “independent reviews” on Freeindex provides you with the reassurance that we can assist on all immigration based applications and you can click here to read our independent reviews.
Those who are applying for a EEA Family Visa as a direct family member, should be looking to provide some of the listed evidences below:
- Evidence of the relationship to the EEA national – examples of this would include marriage certificates, birth certificates or adoption certificates.
- Evidence, either in the form of an EEA national identity card or EEA passport that the sponsor is an EEA national.
- Evidence that the EEA national is either: residing in the UK in accordance with the 2016 regulations as a qualified person.
- The evidence required in such cases would depend on the basis that they are claiming they are a qualified person.
- For spouses and civil partners applying under the EEA Family Visa, they should be looking to provide further evidences to prove their relationship is genuine. Examples of this include evidence of cohabitation such as joint tenancy or mortgage agreements, utility bills, bank statements (this is not an exhaustive list, and there may be other documents a spouse or civil partner may provide to show
they are in a genuine relationship with the EEA national.
- For dependent direct family members (direct descendants age 21 or over and dependent relatives in the ascending line) the following evidence must be provided: proof that they are dependent on the EEA national sponsor or their spouse or civil partner, such as:bank or building society statements, evidence of money transfers and evidence of living in the same household if applicable.
Misuse of rights under the EEA Family Visa
The UK Home Office will need to check that the applicant applying under the EEA Family Visa is not doing of convenience. Regulation 26(1) defines misuse of a right to reside as where a person:
- observes the requirements of the 2016 regulations in circumstances which do not achieve the purpose of the regulations;
- intends to obtain an advantage from the 2016 regulations by engaging in conduct which artificially creates the conditions required to satisfy the criteria set out in the regulations.
Such misuse includes attempting to enter the UK within 12 months of being removed under regulation 23(6)(a) of the 2016 regulations. This applies where the person attempting to do so is unable to provide evidence that, upon re-entry to the UK, the conditions for a right to reside, other than the initial right of residence under regulation 13, will be met. Regulation 26(3) of the Regulations sets out that the Secretary of State may take an EEA decision on the grounds of misuse of rights where there are reasonable grounds to suspect the misuse of a right to reside and it is proportionate to do so.
Length of stay and right to work under the EEA Family Visa
The EEA Family Visa Residence permit is granted for up to five years. There are no work restrictions on the holders of the EEA Family Visa.
An application for confirmation of the right to permanently reside in the UK may be made by all family members, including the EU citizen, usually after five years residence in the UK, provided that the EU national has exercised Treaty rights throughout this period.