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If you’re a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, your close family members can join you in the UK if you were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020 (unless they’re a child born or adopted after that date), and the relationship still exists when they apply to join you.
- a residence card
- a permanent residence card
- a derivative residence card
Otherwise, they will need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK. Once they’re in the UK they can then apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. More information on family permits below.
What is a Family Permit?
A family permit makes it easier to travel with your family member to the UK or to join them there. It lets you come to the UK for up to 6 months. You can work and study, and come and go as many times as you want. Without one, you might not get a boarding pass or may be refused entry into the UK.
You can stay longer in the UK if you’re eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme, for which you can apply once you get to the UK.
There are 2 different family permits:
- the EU Settlement Scheme family permit
- the EEA family permit
Which permit should I apply for?
The EEA family permit is ending, and existing permits will no longer be valid after 30 June 2021. You should therefore submit new applications only to the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit.
Who can apply for the EU settlement Scheme Family permit?
You can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme family permit if you’re the close family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
You can also apply:
- if you’ve lived in the EU, EEA or Switzerland with an eligible family member who’s a British citizen
- if you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has died, left the UK, is no longer your spouse or civil partner or with whom the family relationship has broken down - this is called ‘retained right of residence’
Who qualifies as an eligible family member?
An eligible family member can be your:
- spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
- child or grandchild aged under 21
- dependent child or grandchild of any age
- dependent parent or grandparent
What do I need to provide, how do I go about the application?
You must provide valid identity documents for you and the EEA national family member. You must also prove your relationship to your EEA family member e.g. with a marriage certificate, a birth certificate, proof that you’ve lived with them for at least 2 years, or proof of your dependency on them.
Is there a cost for this application?
No. Family permit applications are free of charge.
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