You can apply for an EEA family permit to accompany your family or partner to the UK (or join them after they’ve arrived) if:

You can apply as either:

  • the wife, husband, civil or unmarried partner, child, grandchild, parent or grandparent of the person you’ll be joining in the UK
  • a dependent extended family member - eg unmarried partner, brother, sister or cousin

You can also apply for an EEA family permit if you’re the main carer of:

  • a British citizen
  • a financially self-sufficient child who is an EEA national
  • a child of an EEA national who was a worker in the UK

You should apply for a visa to join your family member instead if your family member is a British citizen (unless you’re their carer).

You don’t need to apply if you hold a valid residence card or permanent residence card issued in the UK.

How long it lasts

An EEA family permit is valid for six months. You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need within that time.

You can stay for longer than 6 months if you’re related to an EEA national as their:

  • spouse or civil partner
  • child or grandchild, or their spouse or civil partner’s child or grandchild, and under 21 years old
  • dependent child or grandchild, or their spouse or civil partner’s child or grandchild, and over 21 years old
  • dependent parent or grandparent, or their spouse or civil partner’s parent or grandparent

Your EEA family member must be working, a jobseeker, self-employed, studying, self-sufficient or have a permanent right of residence.

You must apply for a UK residence card or leave the UK after your EEA family permit ends if you’re related to your sponsor in any other way.

What you can and can’t do

You can only use a family permit once.

You’ll need to get a new permit every time you leave and want to re-enter the country.

You must get your permit before travelling to the UK.


You must provide:

  • your passport
  • proof of your relationship, eg a birth or marriage certificate
  • a letter from your partner or family in the UK declaring that they’re travelling with you or that you’re coming to stay with them in the UK
  • your partner or family member’s passport or ID card

You must provide proof that you’re financially dependant on your family member in the UK if you’re applying as their dependent extended family member.

Read the full list of evidence you must provide.


You must apply online unless you’re from:

  • Cuba
  • North Korea

In this case, you must apply by post. Fill in the application form and send to your local visa application centre.

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