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Under European Community law, EEA and Swiss nationals may enter and live in the UK to exercise free movement rights. Their non EEA national family members may also join the EEA national sponsor. A family permit is a type of entry clearance issued to direct and extended family members of an EEA national who is in, or intends to come to, the UK to exercise free movement rights. EEA family permits are issued free of charge. Direct and extended family members of an EEA national may apply for a family permit. EEA family permits are issued under the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006 and not the Immigration Rules. The permit is is issued ahead of a person's travel to the UK and is valid for six months.

Any British embassy, high commission or consulate abroad designated by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office as an issuing post may issue EEA family permits. An applicant does not have to travel to their country of origin to apply. Under European Community law, applications for EEA family permits must be treated as a priority case.

Regulation 12 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 is the basis for issuing EEA family permits. Successful applicants must satisfy all requirements of Regulation 12 for a family permit.

Under regulation 19(1) of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006, an applicant for an EEA family permit and their EEA national family member may be excluded from the UK on the grounds of public policy, public security or public health.

Direct Family Members

The Free Movement of Persons Directive (2004/38/EC) defines direct family members of an EEA national as their spouse, civil partner, child under 21 or dependent children over 21 and dependent direct relatives in the ascending line.

Extended Family Members

Other dependent family members outside of the above list of direct family members and durable partners of an EEA national may apply for an EEA family permit as extended family members.

Relatives of an EEA national exercising, or intending to exercise free movement rights in the UK who are not direct family members may qualify as an extended family member. Non EEA national extended family members of EEA nationals do not have an automatic right of admission into the UK. To qualify, an applicant must show how they meet the conditions laid out in regulation 8 of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 (the regulations). The EEA national family member must be residing in the UK in line with the regulations or intending to travel to the UK and reside in line with the regulations within six months and the applicant must be joining or accompanying them.

Unmarried partners

Under regulation 8 (5) of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006, a non EEA national who is an unmarried partner of an EEA national may qualify as an extended family member if they can show that their relationship is durable. There are no specific criteria set as a definitive way to prove that a relationship is durable. The onus is on the applicant to provide evidence which demonstrates this. For example, the applicant may meet the requirement by providing evidence that he/she has been living together with the EEA partner in a relationship similar to marriage for at least two years and intend to continue living together permanently. You should also provide evidence that any previous marriages or relationships similar to marriage have ended.

The Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) must take into account all facts and circumstances to conclude whether or not the applicant is in a durable relationship with the EEA national.

Family Members Of British Nationals (Surinder Singh Principle)

As a general rule, family members of British citizens do not qualify for an EEA family permit. Article 3 of the Directive essentially says that an EEA national cannot be considered as exercising freedom of movement in their own State. This Directive shall apply to all Union citizens who move to or reside in a Member State other than that of which they are a national, and to their family members as defined in point 2 of Article 2 who accompany or join them.

However, where an EEA national has exercised a treaty right in another Member State as a worker or self-employed and they wish to return to their own State having exercised that right, certain provisions may apply in order for their non-EEA family members to qualify under the EEA Regulations.

A British national and his / her non-EEA national family members can only benefit from free movement rights if they meet the criteria established in the ECJ case of Surinder Singh. The case stated that nationals of a Member State who are exercising an economic Treaty right (that is, as a worker or self-employed person) in another Member State will, on return to their home state, be entitled to bring their non-EEA family members to join them under EC law.

Example: A British national is exercising an economic Treaty right in Germany and living with his non-EEA national spouse and children. On the British national's return to the UK, his non-EEA national family members can apply for an EEA family permit to join him under EC law.

The Surinder Singh judgement is incorporated into the EEA Regulations in Regulation 9. Family members of British nationals who meet the requirements of Regulation 9 are treated as family members of EEA nationals for the purposes of the EEA Regulations.

Applications for EEA family permits must meet the following criteria:

  • The British citizen must be residing in an EEA Member State as a worker or self-employed person or have been doing so before returning to the UK.
  • If the family member of the British citizen is their spouse or civil partner, they are living together in the EEA country or must have entered into the marriage or civil partnership and have been living together in the relevant EEA country before the British citizen returned to the UK.

Right Of Appeal Against Refusal Of EEA Family Permit

An unsuccessful applicant for an EEA family permit has an out of country right of appeal against this decision.

But, there is no right of appeal under regulation 26(2) and (3) of the Immigration (EEA) Regulations 2006 if no evidence was provided of either the EEA national family member’s nationality or how they are related.

If the refusal letter confirms that there is a right of appeal against the refusal of the application, an appeal must be filed with the First Tier Tribunal within 28 days from the date of receipt of the notice of refusal of the application.

Our Services For EEA Family Permit Application

We can represent you in your entry clearance application and do all the work until decision by the Entry Clearance Officer (ECO) on your application. Our work will include:

  • the completion of the paper or online application form;
  • advising you on the relevant requirements, relevant laws and procedures;
  • advising you on the relevant documents to be submitted in support of your application;
  • considering the contents of such documents and discussing the same with you;
  • advising you on the weaknesses and strengths of your application; and
  • preparing a cover letter wherein we will explain in detailed how all the relevant requirements of the entry clearance are being satisfied.

The completed application will be forwarded to the applicant outside the UK who will sign the same and forward the application along with all the supporting documents to the relevant British Embassy/High Commission/Consulate for a decision to be made by them.

Where necessary, we will also liaise with the Entry Clearance Officer for an expeditious decision on your application.

Why Sunrise Solicitors For Your EEA Family Permit Application?

The immigration solicitors at Sunrise Solicitors are experts in dealing with applications for  EEA Family Permit. The quality of our service is self-evident from the reviews of our clients about the service provided by our immigration lawyers. You can contact us if you are seeking legal help from immigration lawyers in London in relation to your application for EEA Family Permit and our immigration solicitors will provide you fast, friendly, reliable and professional immigration service.

Our Fees For EEA Family Permit Application

  • We will charge you a fee from £1000 (No VAT) for our professional immigration services in relation to your EEA Family Permit Application. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • If you cannot afford to pay our fee in full at the time of instructing us in relation to your matter, you can pay half of the fee at the time of instructing us and rest of the fee can be paid by monthly installments.
  • The agreed fee will cover all our work until decision by the Home Office on the application. However, it is pertinent to note that the agreed fee will not cover any disbursements to be incurred by the company on your behalf e.g. translation of documents, Home Office fee etc.