Immigration Specialists London

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit: This comprehensive guide is designed to navigate the intricacies of the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit, a crucial pathway for family members of EU citizens residing in the UK. It covers the specific requirements for spouses, civil partners, parents, dependent children, and adult children over 21. The guide also delves into the suitability requirements and the assessment process for applications, providing valuable insights for those seeking to join their family in the UK under the EUSS. Each section aims to clarify the process and requirements, ensuring a smooth application experience.

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EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

1. Overview: EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit


The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit facilitates entry into the UK for non-EEA family members of EEA citizens or qualifying British citizens, enabling them to live together in the UK. This permit is essential for those outside the UK without direct proof of entitlement, offering a pathway to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Eligibility for EUSS Family Permit

  • Must be a non-EEA citizen.
  • Must be a family member (spouse, civil partner, child, or parent) of a relevant EEA citizen.
  • Must intend to accompany or join the EEA citizen in the UK.
  • The EEA citizen must already be in the UK or plan to travel within six months from the application date, with specific conditions for holders of previous permits or those with settled status.

Application Period

Eligible from March 30, 2019, until December 31, 2020, for non-EEA family members to apply. This period aligns with the UK’s official EU withdrawal timeline, underscoring the importance of timely applications.

Requirements

The family member from the EEA or Switzerland must have settled or pre-settled status in the UK. This status is a prerequisite for applying, ensuring that the EEA or Swiss citizen family member has already established their residency rights under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Key Insights on EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

The EUSS Family Permit represents an essential mechanism for maintaining family unity post-Brexit, allowing non-EEA family members to join their EEA or Swiss relatives in the UK. Understanding the eligibility criteria, the limited application period, and the requirement for the EEA or Swiss family member to have settled or pre-settled status is vital for a successful application.

This process underscores the transitional provisions following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, highlighting the need for affected individuals to act within the specified timelines to secure their rights to live in the UK. The EUSS Family Permit serves as a critical link for non-EEA family members to transition to life in the UK alongside their EEA or Swiss family members under the EU Settlement Scheme.

2. EUSS Permit for Spouses


The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit allows non-EEA spouses of EEA citizens to join their partners in the UK. This section details the eligibility criteria and necessary supporting documents for spouses applying for the permit.

EUSS Family Permit Requirements for Spouses

Eligibility for Spouses:

  • The marriage to the relevant EEA citizen must have occurred before December 31, 2020.
  • The applicant must have been a durable partner before this date with a document under EEA Regulations, and the partnership must remain durable.
  • The marriage must be legally recognized, genuine, and exclusive of any other similar unions in the UK or the Islands.

Supporting Documents for Spouses:

  • Documentation confirming the status as the spouse of an EEA citizen.
  • A valid marriage certificate recognized by UK or Islands law.
  • Evidence proving the marriage’s genuineness and compliance with UK immigration laws, specifically excluding marriages of convenience.

Definition and Criteria of Marriages of Convenience

Marriage/Civil Partnership of Convenience:

  • Defined as a union primarily arranged to circumvent:
    • Criteria for entering or residing in the UK under EEA Regulations or UK immigration law.
    • EU law requirements for entry or residence.
    • Islands law regarding entry or residency.

This definition aims to prevent misuse of the immigration system by clarifying what constitutes a legitimate marriage or civil partnership for the purposes of the EUSS Family Permit application.

Summary and Implications for Spouses

For spouses of relevant EEA citizens looking to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit, understanding the specific eligibility criteria and the documents required is crucial. Emphasizing the marriage’s legality, genuineness, and exclusivity ensures that only genuine relationships facilitate immigration under this scheme. Applicants must carefully prepare their documentation to demonstrate compliance with these criteria, reinforcing the integrity of their application. This guidance underscores the importance of thorough preparation and compliance with immigration regulations to facilitate a smooth transition for spouses under the EUSS Family Permit.

3. EUSS Permit for Civil Partners


The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit allows non-EEA civil partners of EEA citizens to join their partners in the UK. This section outlines the eligibility criteria and necessary supporting documents for civil partners applying for the permit.

EUSS Family Permit Requirements for Civil Partners

Understanding the requirements for civil partners is equally important. The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit provides a structured pathway for civil partners of EEA citizens, ensuring that relationships meeting the criteria are recognized and supported.

Eligibility for Civil Partners:

  • The civil partnership must have been formed before December 31, 2020.
  • The applicant must have been in a durable partnership with the EEA citizen before this date and held a valid document under EEA Regulations, with the partnership still intact.
  • The partnership must be valid under the Civil Partnership Act 2004 or equivalent, genuine, and exclusive of any other similar unions.

Supporting Documents for Civil Partners:

  • Document confirming status as the civil partner of an EEA citizen.
  • A valid civil partnership certificate, or a recognized overseas registration document for same-sex relationships.
  • Schedule 20 to the Civil Partnership Act 2004 and the 2012 Order (Annex FM 2.1) provide a list of recognized foreign civil partnerships.

Durable Partners and EUSS Family Permit

Durable Partners:

  • Currently, durable partners of relevant EEA citizens cannot apply for the EUSS Family Permit. This option is expected to become available after December 31, 2020, marking the end of the transition period.
  • Until this change, durable partners may seek an EEA family permit for entry.

Summary and Application Guidance for Civil Partners

For civil partners of relevant EEA citizens aiming to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit, understanding the detailed eligibility criteria and assembling the required supporting documentation is essential. The focus on the validity and genuineness of the civil partnership underscores the need for thorough evidence to support the application.

With the anticipated inclusion of durable partners after the transition period, individuals in long-standing relationships with EEA citizens will have an additional route to apply for residency rights in the UK. This evolving landscape highlights the importance of staying informed about legislative changes and preparing accordingly to ensure a successful application under the EUSS Family Permit.

4. EUSS Permit for Parents


The EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit provides a route for dependent parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents of relevant EEA citizens or their spouse/civil partner to join them in the UK. This guide clarifies the eligibility criteria for parents and the necessary supporting documents for their applications.

Eligibility Criteria and Supporting Documents for Parents

  • Eligibility for Parents:
    • Dependent parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents of EEA citizens or their spouse/civil partner can apply.
    • Must be a direct relative in the ascending line.
    • Dependency is presumed, eliminating the need for specific evidence of financial dependency.
  • Supporting Documents for Parents: Documentation proving the family relationship, such as:
    • Relevant documents recognizing the relationship.
    • Full birth certificates showing parental details.
    • Any other evidence confirming direct lineage to the EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner.

Key Insights on Parental Applications under the EUSS Family Permit

For parents and other direct relatives in the ascending line seeking to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit, the process emphasizes the importance of establishing the family relationship to the relevant EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner. Unlike some other immigration applications, the requirement for proving financial dependency is not stringent, with a presumption of dependency sufficing for the application.

Gathering and submitting the correct supporting documents is crucial to demonstrate the familial ties clearly. The documentation, including birth certificates and any other relevant evidence, must unequivocally show the applicant’s relationship to the EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner, facilitating a smoother application process.

Understanding these requirements and adequately preparing the application packet can significantly enhance the chances of success for parents and other eligible relatives under the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit. This permit serves as a vital link for families to live together in the UK, reflecting the scheme’s broader goal of maintaining family unity post-Brexit.

5. EUSS Permit for Dependent Children


The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit facilitates the entry of dependent children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren of EEA citizens or their spouses/civil partners into the UK. This guide outlines the eligibility criteria for children under 21, special categories including surrogate children and guardianship cases, and the required supporting documents for application.

Eligibility Criteria and Special Categories

  • Eligibility for Children Under 21:
    • Must be a direct descendant or legally adopted child (if recognized in the UK or the Islands) of the EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner.
    • Excludes children in fostering arrangements.
  • Special Categories:
    • Surrogate Children: Eligible if born to the EEA citizen or spouse/civil partner.
    • Guardianship Cases: Various laws across the UK and Crown Dependencies specify eligibility for children under special guardianship or living with a person pursuant to a legal order. Includes regulations from:
      • Children Act 1989
      • Adoption and Children (Scotland) Act 2007
      • Children (Northern Ireland) Order 1995
      • Similar laws in Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Jersey, and Isle of Man

Supporting Documents for Application

  • General Requirements:
    • Full birth certificates and documents proving direct descent or child status of the EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner.
  • Special Cases:
    • Adopted, surrogate, or children under guardianship may require additional documents.
    • Consultation with the European Migration Policy Team may be necessary, potentially extending processing times.

Applying for an EUSS Family Permit for dependent children involves understanding specific eligibility criteria, navigating special categories, and gathering the requisite supporting documents. This process not only underscores the UK’s commitment to maintaining family unity post-Brexit but also highlights the importance of thorough preparation and, in some cases, the need for specialized advice to ensure compliance and facilitate a smooth application process.

6. EUSS Permit for Adult Children


The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit accommodates applications from adult children (aged 21 or over) of relevant EEA citizens or their spouse/civil partner, focusing on their dependency and direct descent. This section outlines the eligibility criteria, required evidence for establishing family relationships, and the nuances of proving dependency for adult children.

Eligibility and Required Evidence

  • Eligibility for Adult Children:
    • Must demonstrate direct descent from an EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner, including cases of legal adoption and surrogacy recognized by UK or Islands law.
    • Must establish dependency on the EEA relative or their spouse/civil partner.
  • Required Evidence for Family Relationship:
    • Legal documents proving the relationship.
    • Full birth certificates with both parents’ names.
    • Other relevant evidence supporting direct descent or child status.

Dependency and Supporting Documentation

  • Proving Dependency:
    • Dependency indicates an essential financial or personal care need, reliant on the EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner.
    • The reasons behind the dependency are not scrutinized, focusing instead on the existence of such a need.
  • Supporting Documentation for Dependency:
    • Evidence of financial dependence through bank statements or records of money transfers.
    • For serious health grounds, documentation like a letter from a hospital consultant.

Special Considerations and Application Guidance

Applications involving adopted or surrogate adult children may necessitate additional review, possibly involving senior caseworkers or the European Migration Policy Team, which could delay the processing time. It’s crucial for adult children applying under the EUSS Family Permit to meticulously document both their relationship to the EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner and the nature of their dependence.

Understanding these criteria and preparing a comprehensive application with the required evidence can significantly enhance the likelihood of a successful EUSS Family Permit application. This permit represents a critical pathway for adult children wishing to join or remain with their EEA family members in the UK, emphasizing the importance of family unity within the EUSS framework.

7. EUSS Family Permit Suitability Criteria


The suitability assessment for the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit involves a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant’s background, focusing on personal conduct, criminal history, and integrity within the application process. This section details the specific grounds for assessment under Rule FP7 of Appendix EU.

Assessment Criteria and Specific Grounds

  • Deportation Orders:
    • Applications face refusal if there is an existing deportation or exclusion order against the applicant, as stipulated under Rule FP7(1).
  • Criminal Convictions:
    • Non-EEA family members aged 18 or over are required to disclose any criminal convictions, including details of the offense, sentence, and country of conviction.
  • Involvement in Serious Crimes:
    • Declarations must include any involvement in severe criminal activities such as terrorism, war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide, to assess the threat to public safety.
  • Police Checks:
    • The application process involves checks against the Police National Computer (PNC) and the Warnings Index (WI) to verify the applicant’s background information.
  • False Information:
    • Providing false information or the submission of false information by another person on behalf of the applicant will lead to application refusal under Rule FP7(3).

Importance of Transparency and Honest Disclosure

Applicants must prioritize the accuracy and completeness of the information they provide during the application process. Honest disclosure of all relevant facts, including any criminal history or previous immigration issues, is essential to ensure a fair assessment under the EUSS Family Permit’s suitability requirements. Misrepresentation or failure to disclose critical information can significantly affect the application’s success, underscoring the importance of transparency throughout the process.

By adhering to these guidelines and providing a thorough and truthful application, applicants can navigate the suitability assessment with confidence, enhancing their prospects for obtaining the EUSS Family Permit. This careful approach facilitates a smoother application experience, aligning with the Scheme’s objectives to maintain the integrity and safety of the UK’s immigration system.

8. EUSS Family Permit Application Assessment


The assessment process for an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit application involves a thorough evaluation by an Entry Clearance Officer (ECO), who considers the information and evidence provided by the applicant, any additional details requested, and data available from other government departments. This section details the steps involved in the assessment, including requests for further evidence and the potential involvement of the EEA citizen.

EUSS Family Permit Application Assessment Process

  • ECO Evaluation:
    • The ECO assesses applications based on the initial submission, any supplementary information provided by the applicant, and other relevant data as of the decision date.
    • The ECO may request additional information or evidence if necessary.
  • Request for Further Evidence:
    • Under Annex 2 of Appendix EU, the ECO can request more details or evidence to better assess eligibility.
    • Interviews, if deemed necessary, can be conducted via telephone, video link, or online platforms.
  • Involvement of the EEA Citizen:
    • The ECO may ask the relevant EEA citizen to provide further evidence regarding their relationship with the applicant or participate in an interview to clarify any uncertainties.
  • Implications of Non-Compliance:
    • Failure to comply with requests for additional information or interviews can lead the ECO to make factual inferences about eligibility.
    • These inferences will consider all available information and the specific circumstances, not just the act of non-compliance.

Overview and Application Guidance

The assessment process for the EUSS Family Permit is designed to ensure a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant’s eligibility and the genuineness of their relationship with the relevant EEA citizen. Applicants and the EEA citizens involved are encouraged to comply fully with any requests for further information or interviews to facilitate a smooth assessment process.

Understanding the potential requests for additional evidence and the format of interviews can help applicants prepare adequately. Similarly, recognizing the importance of the EEA citizen’s involvement and the consequences of non-compliance underscores the need for transparent and cooperative engagement with the application process. This approach not only supports a favorable assessment outcome but also aligns with the overarching goal of maintaining the integrity of the UK’s immigration system.

9. FAQs: EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit


  1. Who can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) Family Permit?

    Non-EEA family members of EEA or Swiss citizens can apply for an EUSS Family Permit if the EEA/Swiss citizen has settled or pre-settled status under the EUSS. This is applicable from March 30, 2019, until December 31, 2020.

  2. What is ‘settled status’ for an EEA national in the UK?

    Settled status means the EEA national has indefinite leave to enter or remain (ILR) under the EU Settlement Scheme.

  3. What is ‘pre-settled status’ for an EEA national?

    Pre-settled status refers to an EEA national who has received a 5-year limited leave to enter or remain under the EU Settlement Scheme.

  4. How long is the EUSS Family Permit valid?

    The EUSS Family Permit is valid for 6 months from the decision date, allowing multiple entries into the UK during this period.

  5. What is a ‘relevant EEA citizen’ under Appendix EU?

    A ‘relevant EEA citizen’ is an EEA citizen granted leave under the EUSS (indefinite or limited) or a dual British and EEA citizen who retained their EEA nationality after acquiring British citizenship.

  6. Who is considered an EEA citizen under Appendix EU (Family Permit)?

    An EEA citizen is a national of any EU country, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, or Switzerland, excluding those who are naturalised British citizens but retain their original EEA nationality.

  7. What is a ‘relevant document’ under Appendix EU for the family permit?

    A relevant document includes a family permit, residence card, or permanent residence card issued under the EEA Regulations, not revoked, expired, or ceased to be effective.

  8. What are the suitability requirements for an EUSS Family Permit?

    The suitability is assessed based on the applicant’s conduct, criminal convictions, and honesty in the application. It includes checks against deportation orders, criminal records, and involvement in serious crimes like terrorism.

  9. What documents are needed for proving dependency for a child aged 21 or over?

    Evidence like financial statements, money transfers, and letters from healthcare providers may be required to demonstrate dependency on the relevant EEA citizen or their spouse/civil partner.

  10. Are there any special considerations for adopted or surrogate children aged 21 or over?

    Yes, cases involving adopted or surrogate children aged 21 or over may require additional review by a senior caseworker or referral to the European Migration Policy Team, potentially affecting processing times.

  11. When is an EUSS Family Permit granted to a non-EEA family member?

    A non-EEA family member receives an EUSS Family Permit if they meet the eligibility criteria outlined in rule FP6 and are not refused on suitability grounds under rule FP7. Once approved, the permit is valid for 6 months from the decision date. Applications are evaluated solely based on these eligibility and suitability conditions as per Appendix EU (Family Permit). If the applicant fails to meet these requirements, the application is refused under rule FP8.

  12. What was the success rate of EUSS Family Permit applications in 2019?

    In 2019, out of 8,695 EUSS family permit applications processed, 6,690 were granted, resulting in a success rate of 76.94%. There were 1,798 rejections, constituting a refusal rate of 20.68%. Additionally, 207 applications were withdrawn, and none lapsed. This data reflects the effectiveness of the application process and the likelihood of approval for eligible applicants.