You may be able to get a family permit to come to the UK if both of the following apply:
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
- you’re the family member of an EEA national, a Swiss national, or an eligible person of Northern Ireland
You must be outside the UK to apply for a family permit.
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021. You and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.
There are 2 different family permits:
- the EU Settlement Scheme family permit
- the EEA family permit
The one you should apply for depends on your circumstances.
EU Settlement Scheme family permit
Apply for the EU Settlement Scheme family permit if you’re the close family member of:
- an EEA or Swiss citizen and they have ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- an Irish citizen (they don’t need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, but must meet the eligibility criteria)
- an eligible person of Northern Ireland (they must also meet the criteria for the EU Settlement Scheme, even though they cannot apply)
- an eligible British citizen who also has EEA or Swiss citizenship, and who lived in the UK as an EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
You must be a ‘close’ family member, such as a spouse, civil partner, dependent child or dependent parent.
EEA family permit
Apply for the EEA family permit if you’re a close or extended family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen.
You can be a close or ‘extended’ family member - for example a brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, nephew or niece.
There are other ways you may be eligible for an EEA family permit, for example:
- with a ‘derivative right of residence’ - you’re the carer of someone who has the right to be in the UK, the carer’s child, or the child of an EEA national who previously worked in the UK
- if you can make a ‘Surinder Singh’ application after living in another EEA country with a British family member
- with a ‘retained right of residence’ - you have the right to stay in the UK as the family member of an EEA national who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner
Both family permits are free.
What they do
Both family permits make it easier and quicker to enter the UK. You might not get a boarding pass and could experience major delays without one.
You may be refused entry into the UK if you do not have an EU Settlement Scheme or EEA family permit.
When you arrive in the UK
You should see a border control officer instead of using the automatic ePassport gates. The officer will check your permit.
How long you can stay
Both family permits are valid for 6 months. You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need within that time.
You may be able to stay after your family permit has expired.