UK immigration law allows eligible European Economic Area (EEA) nationals, and Swiss nationals, to bring their non-EEA family members to the UK on a permanent basis. Qualifying family members will be entitled to live and work in the UK as long as the sponsoring EEA national maintains his or her permanent residence status in the UK. An eligible EEA national can sponsor to bring the following family members to the UK:
- Husband, wife or de facto partner
- Fiancee and proposed civil partner (under the settlement category only)
- Child(ren) or the child(ren) of husband, wife or de facto spouse (civil partner), including adopted child(ren)
- Parents and grandparents or the parents and grandparents of husband, wife or de facto spouse (civil partner)
The UK Border Agency (UKBA) may also consider applications for other non-immediate relatives, such as brothers, sisters and cousins, to join a qualifying EEA national sponsor in the UK. These types of applications, however, may be very difficult to get through unless the sponsored family members fully depend on the sponsor financially, and have lived together with the sponsor in the EEA member country immediately prior to sponsorship.
Although the United Kingdom is also a member of the European Economic Area, British citizens and lawful permanent residents of the UK, who are not nationals of other EEA member states, do not typically qualify to use the EEA family permit scheme to bring their fiancees, wives, husbands and de-facto partners to the UK. Instead, they should apply for fiancee, spouse or partner visas under the settlement visa rules.
Nationals of the following countries are eligible to use the EEA family permit scheme to bring their non-EEA family members to the UK:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
EEA family permit: application process and eligibility requirements