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EUSS Family Permit

The EUSS Family Permit enables eligible individuals from EEA and non-EEA nations to join or accompany close family members who are citizens of the UK, Northern Ireland, or the EEA. Reach out to our immigration solicitors for a free consultation at +44 (0) 1293 522 275 or complete our form.

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November 10, 2023

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Delving into the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit

This permit is a gateway for individuals hailing from the EEA (encompassing the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein) or beyond its borders, enabling their entry into the UK as immediate family members of individuals from the EEA, UK, or Northern Ireland.

Its primary function is to facilitate smooth travel to the UK, ensuring seamless entry and the opportunity for family reunification. Absence of an EUSS Family Permit raises the likelihood of travel refusal or entry rejection, aligning with the guidelines which highlight the potential denial of a boarding pass or entry into the UK.

Typically valid for a span of six months, holders of the EUSS Family Permit enjoy the liberty to engage in work, studies, and travel in and out of the UK without limitations.

Upon arrival, those possessing the EUSS Family Permit may explore options for extended stays and potential pathways leading to permanent residency through eligibility for the EU Settlement Scheme and attainment of pre-settled status.

For a personalised consultation and detailed insights specific to your circumstances, don’t hesitate to connect with our dedicated team.

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit vs. EEA Family Permit: Understanding the Transition

The EEA Family Permit, once an avenue for non-EEA individuals to enter the UK based on close family ties to an EU/EEA resident, has now been succeeded by the EUSS Family Permit scheme. This new scheme mirrors the previous permit’s objective, allowing non-EEA nationals entry into the UK due to familial connections with an EU/EEA national residing here.

As of 30th June 2021, the validity of existing EEA family permits ceased.

Eligible relatives are encouraged to apply for the EUSS Family Permit instead of the now-defunct EEA Family Permit. This transition ensures compliance with the updated regulations and facilitates the continuation of family reunification through the current permit scheme.

Who qualifies for the EUSS Family Permit?

Several pathways exist for eligibility for the EUSS Family Permit:

  • Eligible Family Members of EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic, or Liechtenstein Nationals: To meet criteria through this channel, your family member from one of these specified countries must have initiated residency in the UK before 31st December 2020. This provision extends to family members of British citizens who themselves possess citizenship from an EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic, or Liechtenstein origin. If they lived in the UK before acquiring British citizenship or hold dual nationality with any of the mentioned countries, they must have settled in the UK before 16th July 2012. Additionally, family members of ‘frontier workers’—individuals employed in the UK but residing in their home country—can also apply via this route.
  • Retained Right of Residence – Family Members of Former UK Residents: Under this category, eligibility for an EUSS Family Permit is possible if a family member from the mentioned countries previously resided in the UK but has either passed away, departed the UK, or the familial relationship has dissolved. The prerequisite remains that the family member resided in the UK by the deadline of 31st December 2020.
  • Surinder Singh Route – Family Members of British Citizens: This pathway allows family members of British citizens who lived together in EU, Swiss, Norwegian, Icelandic, or Liechtenstein territories before 1st January 2021 to enter the UK.
  • Family Members of Eligible Individuals in Northern Ireland: Applicants can also secure an EUSS Family Permit if they can demonstrate familial ties to an individual who is Irish, British, or holds dual British and Irish citizenship and was born in Northern Ireland. Additionally, the regulations stipulate the necessity for the individual to have had a parent with British, Irish, or dual citizenship (or had no restrictions on residency in Northern Ireland) at the time of their birth.

Each pathway offers specific criteria and considerations, ensuring a broader spectrum of eligible individuals for the EUSS Family Permit.

Eligibility Criteria for EUSS Family Permit Application:

Applicants eligible for an EUSS Family Permit encompass:

  • Spouse, Civil Partner, or Unmarried Partner
  • Child or Grandchild Under 21
  • Dependent Child or Grandchild Over 21
  • Dependant Parent or Grandparent
  • Family Members Adopted Under a Recognised UK Adoption Order

Eligibility extends to those related to:

  • An EEA national with EUSS status, irrespective of their current status, including cases where the individual has passed away.
  • Individuals holding dual citizenship of both EEA and British nationality.
  • Irish citizens with Settled Status in the UK or who resided in the UK before 1st July 2021.
  • British or Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland.
  • Holders of a Frontier Worker permit.

Determining your eligibility for an EUSS Family Permit involves discussing specifics with our specialised immigration solicitors at +44 (0) 1293 522 275 or via email at Should you not meet the criteria, our experts will provide comprehensive guidance on alternative immigration pathways available to you and your family members.

How to apply for a EUSS Family Permit Application:

The process for obtaining an EUSS Family Permit mandates online completion without any associated application fees or immigration healthcare surcharges, ensuring a cost-free application experience.

Key Points to Consider:

  1. Online Application: The entire application procedure for the EUSS Family Permit must be executed online.
  2. No Application Fee: There are no charges involved in applying for the EUSS Family Permit, alleviating any financial burden.
  3. Immigration Healthcare Surcharge Exemption: Applying for an EUSS Family Permit doesn’t necessitate payment of the immigration healthcare surcharge.
  4. Location Requirement: Applicants must be outside the UK when applying for the EUSS Family Permit.
  5. No Application Deadline: There isn’t a specified deadline to submit an application for the EUSS Family Permit, allowing flexibility in initiation.
  6. Biometric Appointment: Depending on the application, booking an appointment for biometric data collection (fingerprinting and photo) at a local application centre in your country of residence might be necessary. Instructions on this process will be provided upon completing the application form.
  7. Permit Validity: The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit typically remains valid for either a 4 or 6-month duration.

Extending Your Stay in the UK Beyond the EUSS Family Permit Period

For extended stays in the UK beyond the initial permit duration:

  • EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Application: Holders of the EUSS Family Permit seeking a prolonged stay in the UK must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. This application enables individuals to secure pre-settled status initially, with an opportunity to acquire settled status after a continuous residency of 5 years.
  • Application Timing: It’s crucial to plan ahead; application to the EUSS should occur within 3 months of arrival in the UK or before the expiry of the family permit.
  • Late Application Consideration: In cases where the application timeframe has elapsed, there may still be grounds for a late application, such as medical reasons or if the individual was a victim of domestic abuse. These scenarios might be considered under “reasonable grounds.”

Navigating the EUSS Family Permit and subsequent settlement applications necessitates careful planning and adherence to specified timelines for a smoother transition into residency within the UK.

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