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What is a UK EEA Family Permit?

EEA Family Permit (Married)

People who are married to, or in a civil partnership with, an EU citizen are eligible to apply for an EEA Family Permit. The permit is issued for 5 years and allows unrestricted employment for it's duration. Dependent children can be included in the applications. If you are outside of the UK, apply for entry through the British authorities in your home country.

EEA Family Permit Requirements (for non-EU citizens in the UK):

  • The EU citizen must be exercising their Treaty rights (employment, self-employment, study, self-sufficient, etc)
  • The couple must be legally married to each other or in a civil partnership
  • They must have met each other
  • They must intend to live together
  • If the EU spouse/partner does not hold a current Residence Permit, a joint application would be made to the Home Office for a Residence Permit (for the EU spouse/partner) and a 5 year Family Permit (for the non-EU spouse/partner).

    EEA Family Permit Requirements (for non-EU citizens outside the UK):

  • The EU citizen intends to exercise their Treaty rights in the UK (employment, self-employment, study, self-sufficient, etc)
  • The couple must be legally married to each other / in a civil partnership with each other
  • They must have met each other
  • They must intend to live together
  • The couple must be traveling to the UK together or the EU citizen should already be in the UK
  • In this case, the EEA Family Permit would be issued for 6 months and allows unrestricted employment in the UK for that time. During those 6 months, it is expected the EU citizen would apply for a Residence Permit and their spouse/partner applies at the same time for a Five Year Family Permit.

    EEA Family Permit (Unmarried)

    This permit is available for people who can demonstrate they have been living in a relationship akin to marriage with an EU citizen for the last two years. Dependent children can also be included on the application. The permit allows unrestricted employment in the UK for the duration. If you are not yet in the UK, you should apply for entry clearance through the British authorities in your home country before traveling to the UK.

    EEA Family Permit Requirements (for non-EU citizens outside the UK):

  • The EU citizen intends to exercise their Treaty rights in the UK (employment, self-employment, study, self-sufficient, etc)
  • The couple must be able to show documentary evidence of cohabitation in the most recent two years
  • In addition to these requirements, couples currently applying form outside of the UK must travel to the UK together or the EU citizen should already be in the UK. It is necessary to spend 4 years and 11 months in the UK on this type of Permit before being eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain provided the relationship is ongoing.


     [07-02-2011]
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