If a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland is living in the UK in accordance with the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, their family members who are not EEA or Swiss citizens also have the right to live here. 

If you are the non-European family member of an EEA or Swiss national, and you have come to the UK with them, you can apply for a residence card. This is a document which confirms your right of residence under European law. Your residence card may take the form of an endorsement in your passport (also called a 'vignette'), or it may be a separate document called an 'immigration status document'. A residence card is normally valid for 5 years from the date when it is issued.

When you have lived here for a continuous period of 5 years with the EEA or Swiss national (who must have been in employment, self-employment, studying or self-sufficient in the UK throughout the 5 years), you can apply for confirmation of your right to permanent residence in the UK.

You do not need to obtain documents confirming your right of residence in the UK if you are a family member of an EEA national.

However, you may be inconvenienced if you do not obtain this confirmation, as:

  • you may have difficulty proving that you are lawfully resident in the UK;
  • if you leave the UK, you will usually need to obtain an EEA family permit before returning here, in order to guarantee readmission as the family member of a qualified EEA national; and
  • you may find it difficult to obtain or change employment.

Family Member of An EEA National

Family member’ is defined in Regulation 7 as meaning:

  • spouse / civil partner (excluding a person who is party to a marriage or civil partnership of convenience)
  • children of the EEA national or of his/her spouse / civil partner who are under 21 years of age or are dependent. (This includes stepchildren or adopted children provided that the adoption is recognised by the U.K.)
  • dependants, in the ascending line (i.e. parents, grandparents) of the EEA national or of his/her spouse / civil partner.

Note that slightly different rules apply where the EEA national is a student. In that case, after the initial three month period of residence, (i) the children of the EEA national student (or of his/her spouse or civil partner) must be dependent on the EEA national in order to be treated as family members, and (ii) his/her dependents in the ascending line (or those of his/her spouse or civil partner) are not to be treated as family members.

Extended Family Members

Extended family members’ is defined in Regulation 8 as meaning:

  • more distant family members of the EEA national or of his spouse / civil partner who can demonstrate that they are dependant
  • partners where there is no civil partnership but they can show that they are in a "durable relationship" with the EEA national.

For extended family members only the following conditions in relation to dependency must be satisfied:

  • The extended family member must have established his/her dependency or household relationship on the relevant EEA national in the country from which the EEA national moved to the UK. This is consistent with the wording of Article 3(2) of the Directive, which states that the person must be a dependant or member of the household of the EEA national in the country from which they have come;
  • The dependency/household relationship must have existed immediately before or very recently before the EEA national came to the UK; and
  • The extended family member must have come to the UK at the same time as the EEA national or just before or very recently thereafter.

Article 3(2) of the Free Movement Directive provides for Member States to facilitate entry and residence, in accordance with their national legislation, for

“any other family members, irrespective of nationality, not falling under the definition in point 2 of Article 21 who, in the country from which they have come, are dependants or members of the household of the Union citizen having the primary right of residence, or where serious health grounds strictly require the personal care of the family member by the Union citizen”; and

“the partner with whom the Union Citizen has a durable relationship, duly attested.”

Under Regulation 8 there are four kinds of extended family member:

  • a person who is a relative of an EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner and who is financially dependent on the EEA national or is a member of his/her household, and who either (i) is accompanying the EEA national to the UK / wishes to join him there, or (ii) has joined him in the UK and continues to be dependent on him or to be a member of his/her household;
  • a person who is a relative of an EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner and, on serious health grounds, strictly requires the personal care of the EEA national or his/her spouse or civil partner;
  • a person who is a relative of an EEA national and would meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules (other than those relating to entry clearance) for ILR as a dependent relative of an EEA national were the EEA national a person present and settled in the UK;
  • a person who is the partner of an EEA national (other than a civil partner) and can prove that he is in a durable relationship with the EEA national.

Until an applicant is recognised as an extended family member and issued with a residence card (or EEA family permit or registration certificate) he has no rights deriving from EU law.

Why Sunrise Solicitors For Your Residence Card Application?

The immigration solicitors at Sunrise Solicitors are experts in dealing with applications for  residence card i.e. EEA2 applications. 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 residence card as non-EEA family member of an EEA national and our immigration solicitors will provide you fast, friendly, reliable and professional immigration service.

Our Fees For Residence Card Application

  • We will charge you a fee from £800+VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your residence card application if you are applying as a direct family member of an EEA national. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • We will charge you a fee from £1,000+VAT for our professional immigration services in relation to your residence card application if you are applying as an extended family member of an EEA national. The agreed fee will depend on the complexity of the matter and the casework involved in the matter.
  • Please be advised that VAT will not be applicable where our client does not have a valid leave to remain in the UK at the time of his/her instructions to us in relation to his/her immigration 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.