EEA family permits

An EEA family permit is a form of 'entry clearance' to the UK (similar to a visa). It is for nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are family members of EEA nationals. A non-EEA family member of an EEA national will need to obtain an EEA family permit before travelling to the UK if they are coming to live with the EEA national in the UK permanently or on a long-term basis. However, the non-EEA family member must be travelling to the UK with the EEA national or join the EEA national here.

If you are an EEA or Swiss national, your non-EEA family members who have the right of residence in the UK are:

  • your husband, wife or civil partner;
  • your children or grandchildren (or the children or grandchildren of your husband, wife or civil partner) who are under 21 years of age or are dependent on you; and
  • the parents or grandparents of you and your husband, wife or civil partner, if they are dependent on you.

If you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, you must be able to show that you are in a durable relationship with each other.

There is no visa application fee for an EEA family permit. When your family member apply, he/she must provide documents to prove his/her relationship to an EEA national (you) who is coming to the UK or already here. When you apply, you should include all the documents that you can to show that you are a family member of an EEA national. These should include:

  • a copy of the EEA national's passport, endorsed by the EEA national's embassy in the country of application); and
  • proof of relationship to the EEA national (for example, birth certificate or marriage certificate); and
  • a letter from the EEA national, declaring that applicant is travelling with them or are joining them in the UK.

If he/she are applying as the EEA national's unmarried partner, he/she should provide evidence that he/she has been living with them in a relationship akin to marriage for more than 2 years. It is unlikely that UK Embassy would consider a shorter relationship as 'durable', in accordance with the EEA Regulations.

Visa application will be refused if you are involved in a 'marriage or civil partnership of convenience'. This is a marriage or civil partnership that is for immigration purposes only, with neither person planning to live with the other in a genuine and settled relationship.