Apply for an EEA family permit from outside the UK
You can apply for an EEA family permit to come to the UK if you’re both:
- from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
- the family member or ‘extended’ family member of an EEA or Swiss national (excluding UK nationals) - check if you’re eligible
There will be no change to the rights and status of EU nationals living in the UK, nor UK nationals living in the EU, while the UK remains in the EU.
There are other ways you may be eligible, 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
You must be outside the UK to apply for an EEA family permit.
An EEA family permit is free.
What it does
An EEA family permit makes 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 don’t have an EEA family permit.
How long you can stay
An EEA family permit is valid for 6 months. You can leave and enter the UK as many times as you need within that time.
Stay after your EEA family permit expires
You can stay in the UK after your permit expires if you:
- are the family member of an EEA national - see if you’re eligible
- qualify for a ‘Surinder Singh’ application
- have a retained right of residence
- have a derivative right of residence
You can apply for a residence card card or derivative residence card to confirm your right of residence. You don’t have to apply but it will make it easier to prove your right to live and work in the UK.
‘Extended’ EEA family members
You must apply for a residence card if you’re the ‘extended’ family member of an EEA national and want to stay in the UK after your EEA family permit has expired.
See the eligibility criteria for extended EEA family members.