EEA family permit: eligibility requirements
According to the amended immigration Rules (2002), eligible EEA nationals who are present and settled in the UK may sponsor a non-EEA national to immigrate to the United Kingdom on a fiancee or proposed civil partner visa under the settlement visa category. Alternatively, they may choose to marry outside of the UK and apply for an EEA family permit. It should be noted that unlike settlement visa applications, EEA family permit cases are processed by the UK immigration authorities without charge.
In order to file a successful application for a visa, spouses and unmarried partners of EEA nationals must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- The sponsor must be an EEA national, or a Swiss national, who is exercising or wishes to exercise, rights of free movement under the Treaty of Rome in the UK.
- Sponsors, who have been in the UK or plan to remain in the UK for more than 3 months, must meet the “qualified person” requirements. A qualified EEA national sponsor must be a jobseeker, worker, self-employed individual, financially stable person, or student.
- In most instances, the sponsor must be financially self-sufficient and have suitable accommodation arranged by the time their wife, husband or unmarried partner arrives in the UK on an EEA family permit. In general, the sponsor must be able to afford to live in the UK with their family, including any dependents, without requiring any disbursements of public funds.
- People must have personally met each other prior to sponsorship.
- In case of a de facto (unmarried) partnership, the qualifying sponsor and their partner must have been living together for at least 2 years prior to sponsorship.
- If you apply for an EEA family permit under the marriage category, you must be legally married to each other, and your marriage must be valid under the laws of the country in which it took place and under UK law.
- You must be in a genuine relationship and intend to continue living together permanently after an EEA family permit has been granted.
You may choose not to use the EEA family permit scheme if your wife, husband or partner is a non-visa national, and will travel to the UK as a temporary visitor, AND will stay in the UK for less than 6 months, AND will not seek to obtain gainful employment while in the UK. Your spouse or partner, however, must apply for an entry clearance if she or he is from a country whose nationals need a visa to travel to the UK.
If you wish to marry in the UK and have no intention to settle in the UK after the marriage, you may want to learn more about the "visit for marriage" visa category.
Please feel free to contact us about our EEA family permit services.