Guidance

EU Settlement Scheme: evidence of relationship

How to provide evidence that you're a family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland.

If you arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020

You can apply as the non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen if you arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020.

You’ll need to show evidence of your relationship to that family member, and that your relationship existed by 31 December 2020.

If you arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020 or have not yet arrived

You may be able to apply if you have an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member who arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020. You must be either:

  • an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with an EU, EEA or Swiss family member who arrived by 31 December 2020
  • a non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss family member who arrived by 31 December 2020

You’ll need to show evidence:

  • of your relationship to that family member
  • that your relationship existed by 31 December 2020 (unless you are a child born or adopted after that date)
  • that the relationship continues to exist on the date you apply

If you have a Swiss spouse or civil partner

You may also be able to apply (by 31 December 2025) if you have a Swiss spouse or civil partner who arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020. You must be either:

  • an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a Swiss spouse or civil partner who arrived by 31 December 2020
  • a non-EEA family member of a Swiss spouse or civil partner who arrived by 31 December 2020

You’ll need to show evidence:

  • of your relationship to your spouse or civil partner
  • that your relationship existed by 31 December 2025
  • that your relationship continues to exist on the date you apply

If you hold a valid document which confirms your right of permanent residence in the UK

You won’t need to provide any evidence about your family relationship to an EEA or Swiss citizen if you have a valid document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card issued to you under the EEA Regulations on the basis of your family relationship to that citizen.

If you’re the family member of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a document confirming a right of permanent residence or permanent residence card under the EEA Regulations. If you don’t, please refer to the sections below for further information on what evidence to provide instead.

If you hold a residence card as a family member

If you have a valid biometric residence card (BRC) as a family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen which does not confirm your right of permanent residence in the UK, this will be accepted as evidence of your relationship to that person if it was issued to you on the basis of that relationship and that relationship continues to exist (or did so for the period of residence relied upon).

You can tell if it’s the right type of BRC if:

  • on the back it says ‘EU Right to Reside’
  • at the bottom it says ‘Residence card of a family member of a Union citizen’ or ‘Residence card issued under the EEA Regulations’

If you’re the family member of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a BRC confirming a right of residence under the EEA Regulations. If you don’t, please refer to the sections below for further information on what evidence to provide instead.

You’ll also need to provide evidence of the EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland’s:

  • identity and nationality
  • status as a person of Northern Ireland (where appropriate)
  • continuous UK residence

You’ll need to provide evidence of your family relationship to an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland resident in the UK if:

  • your BRC was not issued to prove your family relationship with that person
  • your BRC was issued to prove your family relationship but you’re now relying on a family relationship with a different EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland
  • you do not have a BRC

Documents you must provide to show evidence of your relationship

You can upload evidence of your relationship in your application. This evidence can be scans or photos of documents. The Home Office can require you to submit the original document where it has reasonable doubt as to the authenticity of the copy relied upon.

If you’re their spouse or civil partner

You’ll only need to provide this evidence if you do not have a relevant document issued to you on the basis that you’re the spouse or civil partner of an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland.

A relevant document here includes:

  • a family permit
  • a residence card

If you’re the spouse or civil partner of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a relevant document.

If you do not have a relevant document, you’ll need to show evidence:

  • of your relationship to your spouse or civil partner
  • that your relationship existed by 31 December 2020 (by 31 December 2025 if your spouse or civil partner is a Swiss citizen)
  • that your relationship continues to exist on the date you apply

If you’re a spouse or civil partner now, but were an unmarried (durable) partner by 31 December 2020, you will also need to provide the evidence set out in the section ‘If you’re their unmarried (durable) partner’.

Accepted forms of evidence include:

  • a valid document of record of a marriage or civil partnership recognised under the law of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • a valid overseas registration document for a same sex relationship which is entitled to be treated as a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004

If you’re their unmarried (durable) partner

You must hold a relevant document issued to you under the EEA Regulations on the basis that you’re the durable partner of an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland.

A relevant document here includes:

  • a family permit
  • a residence card

If you’re the unmarried (durable) partner of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a relevant document.

If you do not have a relevant document, you’ll need to show evidence:

  • of your relationship to your unmarried (durable) partner
  • that your relationship existed by 31 December 2020
  • that your relationship continues to exist on the date you apply

The list below gives some examples of evidence you can provide. This list is not exhaustive and other forms of evidence may be accepted. Each case will be considered on a case by case basis.

Evidence that you had lived together for at least 2 years by 31 December 2020:

  • bank statements or utility bills in joint names at the same address
  • residential mortgage statement or tenancy agreement in joint names
  • official correspondence that links you at the same address

Evidence of joint finances, business ventures or commitments for at least 2 years by 31 December 2020:

  • tax returns, business contracts or investments

Evidence of joint responsibility for a child by 31 December 2020:

  • the child’s birth certificate which names both parents
  • a custody agreement showing that you’re living together and sharing parental responsibility

The evidence will need to show that you’re still the unmarried (durable) partner of the EEA or Swiss citizen or the person of Northern Ireland, or that you are now their spouse or civil partner.

If you’re their child, grandchild or great-grandchild

You’ll only need to provide this evidence if you don’t hold a relevant document issued to you on the basis that you’re the child, grandchild or great-grandchild of the EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland (or of their spouse or civil partner).

A relevant document here includes:

  • a family permit
  • a residence card

If you’re the child, grandchild or great-grandchild of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a relevant document.

If you do not have a relevant document, you’ll need to show evidence of your relationship.

Accepted forms of evidence include the following:

  • full birth certificate
  • a court order, such as a special guardianship order
  • other documents which satisfy the caseworker that you are the direct descendant of the EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland (or of their spouse or civil partner)

If you’re a child, grandchild or great-grandchild who is aged 21 or over, and you were not previously granted pre-settled status under the scheme as a child aged under 21, you’ll need to provide evidence that you’re (or for the relevant period were) dependent on your EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland parent, grandparent or great-grandparent (or on their spouse or civil partner).

You’ll need to provide the following evidence, as appropriate, to show your dependency:

  • evidence of your financial dependency, such as bank statements or money transfers
  • evidence of you needing and receiving the personal care of the EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland (or their spouse or civil partner) on serious health grounds, for example a letter from a hospital consultant

If your parent, grandparent or great-grandparent is not an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland but is the spouse or civil partner of someone who is, you must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship to your parent, grandparent or great-grandparent
  • that your parent, grandparent or great-grandparent was the spouse, civil partner or unmarried (durable) partner of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, or person or Northern Ireland, by 31 December 2020

Accepted forms of evidence include:

  • a valid document of record of a marriage or civil partnership recognised under the law of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • a valid overseas registration document for a same sex relationship which is entitled to be treated as a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004

If you’re their dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent

You’ll only need to provide this evidence if you don’t have a relevant document issued to you on the basis that you’re the dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent of an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland (or of their spouse or civil partner).

A relevant document here includes:

  • a family permit
  • a residence card

If you’re the dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a relevant document.

If you do not have a relevant document, you must provide evidence of your relationship. Accepted forms of evidence include:

  • full birth certificate
  • other documents which satisfy the caseworker that you are the direct descendant of the EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland (or of their spouse or civil partner)

Where your child, grandchild or great-grandchild is not an EEA or Swiss citizen or person of Northern Ireland but their spouse or civil partner is, you must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship to your child, grandchild or great-grandchild
  • that your child, grandchild or great-grandchild was the spouse, civil partner or unmarried (durable) partner of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, or person or Northern Ireland, by 31 December 2020

Accepted forms of evidence include:

  • a valid document of record of a marriage or civil partnership recognised under the law of England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, such as a marriage or civil partnership certificate
  • a valid overseas registration document for a same sex relationship which is entitled to be treated as a civil partnership under the Civil Partnership Act 2004

If you apply on or after 1 July 2021, of if you apply before that date and the EEA or Swiss citizen or the person of Northern Ireland is under the age of 18 (or was on 31 December 2020), you will also need to provide evidence of your dependency on them or on their spouse or civil partner.

If you’re their dependent relative

You can only apply as a dependent relative if you arrived in the UK by 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020. You cannot join your EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member as a dependent relative under the EU Settlement Scheme if you arrive after 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020.

In some cases, you can apply as a dependent relative of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen if you’re their dependant, a member of their household or in strict need of their personal care on serious health grounds. The EU, EEA or Swiss citizen cannot be your spouse, civil partner, unmarried (durable) partner, child (or grandchild or great-grandchild) or dependent parent (or grandparent or great-grandparent). They can be your brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece or cousin (or, in some cases, of your spouse or civil partner).

You must hold a relevant document issued to you under the EEA Regulations on the basis that you’re the dependent relative of an EEA or Swiss citizen (or, where the application for that document was made before 1 February 2017, of their spouse or civil partner).

A relevant document here includes:

  • a family permit
  • a residence card

You must also provide evidence that your relationship with the EEA or Swiss citizen (or, where relevant, their spouse or civil partner) continues to exist (or did so for the period of residence relied upon).

If you’re the dependent relative of a person of Northern Ireland

The person of Northern Ireland cannot be your spouse, civil partner, unmarried (durable) partner, child (or grandchild or great-grandchild) or dependent parent (or grandparent or great-grandparent). They can be your brother, sister, aunt, uncle, nephew, niece or cousin (or, in some cases, of your spouse or civil partner).

If you’re the dependent relative of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to hold a relevant document. If you don’t, you must provide evidence to show your dependency on the person of Northern Ireland by 31 December 2020. Accepted forms of evidence can include (as appropriate):

  • evidence of your financial dependency, such as bank statements or money transfers
  • evidence of you needing and receiving the personal care of the person of Northern Ireland (or their spouse or civil partner) on serious health grounds, for example a letter from a hospital consultant

You must also provide evidence that your relationship with the person of Northern Ireland (or, where relevant, their spouse or civil partner) continues to exist (or did so for the period of residence relied upon).

Provide evidence of your family member’s identity and nationality

You’ll only need to do this if you do not have a permanent residence card issued to you on the basis that you’re the family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen (or, where relevant, of their spouse or civil partner).

If you’re the family member of a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have a permanent residence card. If you don’t, you must provide this evidence.

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has been, or is being, granted settled or pre-settled status

If the EEA or Swiss citizen has been granted, or is being granted, settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can use this to confirm their identity and nationality by providing their application reference number.

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has not yet applied for settled or pre-settled status

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has not yet applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll need to provide evidence of their identity and nationality using their passport or national identity card.

Alternatively, if you can show that you’re unable to obtain or produce the required document due to circumstances beyond your control or to compelling compassionate reasons, the Home Office may agree to accept alternative evidence of the identity and nationality of the EEA or Swiss citizen.

If your family member is a person of Northern Ireland

You’ll need to provide evidence of their identity and nationality using their passport or national identity card.

You’ll also need to provide evidence that your family member is a person of Northern Ireland.

To be a person of Northern Ireland, your family member must:

  • be a British citizen, an Irish citizen or both a British and Irish citizen
  • have been born in Northern Ireland
  • be living in the UK by 31 December 2020

To prove that your family member was born in Northern Ireland, you’ll need to provide either:

  • a British or Irish passport confirming their place of birth
  • a birth certificate

You’ll also need to provide evidence to show that your family member’s parents were, at the time of your family member’s birth, either:

  • a British citizen
  • an Irish citizen
  • both a British and Irish citizen
  • entitled to reside in Northern Ireland without any restriction on their residence

To prove that at least one of your family member’s parents met this requirement, you can provide a:

  • British or Irish passport
  • biometric residence permit (BRP)
  • certificate of entitlement
  • document issued under the Windrush Scheme

This list is not exhaustive and other documents proving this requirement is met may be accepted.

You’ll also need to provide evidence of your family member’s relationship to their parent. Accepted forms of evidence include your family member’s:

  • birth certificate
  • adoption certificate

This list of evidence is not exhaustive and other documents proving your family member’s relationship to their parent may be accepted.

Provide evidence of your family member’s continuous residence in the UK

You’ll only need to provide evidence of your family member’s continuous residence in the UK if you do not have a document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card issued to you on the basis that you’re the family member of an EEA or Swiss citizen.

If your family member is a person of Northern Ireland, you’re unlikely to have document certifying permanent residence or a permanent residence card. If you don’t, you must provide this evidence.

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has been, or is being, granted settled or pre-settled status

If the EEA or Swiss citizen has been granted, or is being granted, settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can use this to confirm their residence in the UK by providing their application reference number.

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has not yet applied for settled or pre-settled status

You’ll probably get a decision more quickly if you apply to the scheme at the same time as, or after, your EEA or Swiss citizen family member.

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has not yet applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll need to provide evidence that they have been or were continuously resident in the UK throughout the period on which you rely as having been continuously resident in the UK as their family member.

Details of how to prove your EEA or Swiss citizen family member’s continuous residence in the UK are on GOV.UK.

If your family member is a person of Northern Ireland

Details of how to prove your family member’s continuous residence in the UK are on GOV.UK.

If your family member is a frontier worker

If your family member has been granted, or is being granted, a frontier worker permit, you can use this to confirm their residence in the UK by providing their application reference number.

If your EEA or Swiss citizen family member has not yet applied to for a frontier worker permit, you’ll need to provide evidence that they became a frontier worker on or before 31 December 2020 and continue to be a frontier worker.

Details of how to prove your EEA or Swiss family member is a frontier worker are on GOV.UK.

Published 22 March 2019
Last updated 31 December 2020 + show all updates
  1. Updated because of the end of the transition period.

  2. Added guidance for if you’re the family member of a person of Northern Ireland.

  3. First published.