ECONOMIC NATIONALS (EEA) AND FAMILY MEMBERS
We have many years experience in
handling applications for UK visas and permits on behalf of EEA nationals and
their families (especially non EEA family members).
We submit applications in the UK and at British Embassies and High Commissions
all over the world.
This includes applications for EEA Family Permits, EEA Residence Cards, EEA
permanent residence and EEA registration certificates.
We have particular experience with many complex situations in such
- Demonstrating that the EEA national is a 'qualified person ' - a jobseeker,
a worker, a self-employed person, a self-sufficient person or a student.
- Including unmarried partners or same sex partners on an EEA Family Permit.
- Changing to EEA family status while in the UK on a different visa.
- Proving sufficient funds are in place to support the relocation.
- Applications to show a genuine marriage exists
- Requesting return of passports for travel.
- Obtaining permanent residence and then British citizenship for EEA nationals
and their family members.
It is important to remember that the UK government can be very strict in
reviewing EEA applications, as these are under European Union rules and not
derived from UK law. Many applicants are refused for poor quality documents or
for incomplete applications. Many applications are refused because they have
not demonstrated that the marriage or relationship is genuine.
The EEA (European Economic Area) consists of the EU (European Union) and 3
other countries. The following countries are members of the EEA (European
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,
France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia,
Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom.
Although Switzerland is not a member of the EEA, Swiss citizens and their
families are included in this, due to a separate agreement signed with the
So, who is a Family Member? This definition is different under EU law than
through normal UK immigration. A Family Member includes; spouses, civil
partners; unmarried partners, children under the age of 21, dependent children
It can also include other direct relatives who can show they are dependent
such as parents and grandparents.
However, the rules vary for different Family Members. Spouses (married or
civil partners) are treated differently from unmarried partners or same sex
unmarried partners. It is vital to plan such applications accordingly.
EEA Family Permits – these are for non-EEA family members looking to move to
the UK with the EEA national. This includes spouses, partners, same-sex
partners, children and other dependants. This has to be applied for outside
the UK – usually at the nearest UK Embassy or High Commission.
EEA 1 Registration Certificates – this is an application by the EEA national
to prove their status in the UK. Although this is not mandatory, this can be
of benefit in seeking to bring non EEA family members to the UK.
EEA 2 Residence Cards – after the family member has arrived in the UK, this
is the process allowing them to apply to stay. This process involves
demonstrating the family relationship and the employment / self-employment of
the EEA national. This category has a relatively high rate of refusal –
especially for applicants who have arrived on an EEA Family Permit. It is
vital to remember that this is a fresh application and new updated evidence is
required. It is not the same as simply extending an EEA Family Permit.
EEA 3 and EEA 4 Permanent Residence
EU law provides a right for EEA nationals and their family members to attain
permanent residence after 5 years.
This is not the same as UK Indefinite Leave to Remain – instead an
application under EU law for permanent residence is assessed under different
It is vital for the applicant to be able to show that he / she has lived and
worked (or exercised another Treaty right) for the last 5 years. These
applications can be complex and require extensive preparation.
Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.
based in London and Cambridge
Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916