Can your family members join you in the UK after Brexit? by Charlotte Rubin

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national living in the UK, and you have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), your family members may be able to join you subject to certain conditions.

If you are an EU/EEA or Swiss national and you have not applied for the EU Settlement Scheme yet, we urge you to do so as soon as possible, since the deadline for application is 30 June 2021. All you need to prove to obtain pre-settled status is that you moved to the UK / lived in the UK before 31 December 2020.

Once you have obtained (pre-)settled status, you can then look into getting your non-British family members who do not live in the UK to join you here. If they are in the UK with you, they should be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme directly and obtain leave that way. If they are abroad, and they have a valid UK document such as a UK permanent residence card or derivative residence card, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme directly as well. If they do not have such documents, they will have to apply for a family permit to enter the UK. Once they get to the UK, they will then be able to apply to stay under the EUSS.

There are two types of family permit. One is the EEA Family Permit, and the other is the EUSS Family Permit. The former will no longer be valid after 30 June 2020, and the route to apply for it will close that same date. This guide therefore focuses on how to apply to the new EUSS family permit instead.

Broadly, there are three requirements for family members to receive an EUSS Family Permit: they will have to be a “close family member,” they will have to prove that your family relationship existed before the end of the transition period (i.e. before 31 December 2020), and that the family relationship exists at the time of application.

“Close” family members are defined in the immigration rules as either a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner, a child or grandchild aged under 21, a dependent child or grandchild of any age, or a dependent parent or grandparent.

To prove the existence and length of the family relationship, many different types of documents are accepted. For married couples or civil partners, the most common type of proof is a marriage certificate or document evidencing civil partnership. For unmarried durable partners the proof can consist of joint tenancy agreements, joint accounts, joint bills, pictures together, or any other proof that shows a long-term (long-term is defined as longer than two years) relationship. For other family relationships birth certificates and/or evidence of dependency such as court orders or bank statements may be necessary.

You will also have to show that your family member will be joining you in the UK within six months of their application for an EUSS Family Permit. This means that they must either be traveling to the UK with you, or joining you there within six months of the date of application.

Applying for a family permit is free of charge. If granted, the Permit allows for the family member to enter and stay in the UK for six months, during which they are expected to apply for the EUSS. In the event that their application is successful, they can then stay with their EEA family member indefinitely. If their application is unsuccessful, they are expected to return home at the end of the six months when their family permit expires.

If you need assistance with your EUSS Family Permit application, or have any other questions, you can contact us here, call us on 020 8142 8211, or send us a question on WhatsApp.

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