EU Nationals and your family

European Economic Area (EEA) and nationals and their family members

Brexit has created a huge amount of uncertainty for European nationals and their family members living in the United Kingdom.

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Many Europeans nationals and their family members want to secure their position in the United Kingdom. The best way to do this is with a residence card, permanent residence card and/or British Citizen.

European Union (EU) nationals and their family members

Currently, citizens of the European Union (EU) and Switzerland have a right to enter, live and work or study in the UK without restriction.

The Rights of EU nationals and their family members

An EEA national and their family members may stay in the UK for as long as they are a qualified person. A qualified person under European Law will be one of the following:

  1. A worker
  2. A self-employed person
  3. A job seeker
  4. A student with comprehensive sickness insurance
  5. A self sufficient person with comprehensive sickness insurance

Permanent Residence

After 5 years as a qualified person, an EEA national and their family members can apply for Permanent Residence in the UK.

Immigration Law - Family Migration, Joining your family in the Uk - Legal Advice

The different types of applications

  • Family Permits - for entry to the UK
  • Registration Certificates - for EEA nationals in the UK
  • Residence Cards - for family members of EEA nationals in the UK
  • Permanent Residence Cards - for EEA nationals and their family members
  • Derivative Residence Card - for non-EEA nationals who obtain a right to live in the UK by consequence of a relationship to an EEA national

Legal Services - Fixed Fee Immigration Applications starting at £99

British Citizenship

Since November 2015, EEA nationals and their family members require a permanent residence card before applying for naturalisation as a British Citizen. Most applications for naturalisation require that permanent residence is held for 12 months. We offer a special discounted fee for people applying for their permanent residence and naturalisation with us. Call us for more information on 0800 1293320

Family members from outside the EEA

If you are an EEA national you have an automatic right to invite your family members to the UK to join you here.

However if your family members are coming from outside the EEA, they will need to make an application for Entry Clearance, or apply to regularise their immigration status from within the UK.

If the relationship between the EEA national and the non-EEA national breaks down, then the non-EEA family member may apply to retain their right to reside in the UK.

They should make an application for a visa (Family Permit) before entering the UK. If they are already in the UK they may apply to the Home Office to stay on the basis of their relationship.

How can Simpson Millar LLP help me?

European law can be increasingly complex so it is important you get the right immigration advice.

Our Team of Immigration Solicitors at Simpson Millar LLP can advise you on your rights or if you need help with your application or appeal. We can help prepare evidence and submit your application. If you have received a refusal, we can represent you on appeal.

As experienced Immigration Solicitors we understand that you might find the application procedure confusing, so we can explain all the requirements and what documents you will need. With our help you may have a greater chance of succeeding with your application.

We can speak your language and offer all our Immigration Services in Polish, Arabic, Urdu, Punjabi and French.

To speak to a Polish caseworker contact Patrycja Grochecka

To speak to a French caseworker contact Catriona Harris

How we can support your application

Contact our solicitors now to get the immigration advice you need. Complete our no obligation online enquiry form and we will call you back or you can call us directly on freephone: 0808 129 3320.


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Emma Brooksbank - Partner | Immigration Law - Leeds

Emma Brooksbank
Partner, Head of Immigration (Leeds)

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