7 November 2022

EU Nationals and Ability to Sponsor Family Members

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EU Nationals and Ability to Sponsor Family Members

EU nationals can sponsor family members to join them after taking up residence in the UK. Qualifying family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) family permit to come to the UK.

Dependent family members need a family permit to join their UK sponsor. Before Brexit, EEA family permits were used to allow entry of non-EEA relatives into the UK. Following Brexit, this route is closed and replaced by EUSS family permits.

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

The EUSS family permit holders can travel to the UK to join family members of relevant EEA citizens or eligible British nationals.

The main objective of this family permit is to allow the holder to enter the UK and join the sponsor. Without one, the applicant will likely be denied entry into the UK.

EU Settlement Scheme family permits are valid for 6 months, the family permit holder can study, work, and travel in and out of the UK without restrictions.

After arriving in the UK, the EUSS family permit holder can apply for pre-settled status through the EUSS, if they are eligible.

Key Eligibility Requirements

To qualify, the applicant must prove the following:

  • The applicant is the family member of an individual from EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein who must have began living in the United Kingdom by 31 December 2020;
  • The applicant used to be the family member of such national who lived in the UK by 31 December 2020, prior to events such as death of relationship breakdown;
  • The relationship began before 31 December 2020;
  • Unless there is a retained right, the sponsoring family member is in the UK or will be joining within 6 months of the applicant’s arrival.

Eligible Family Members

  • Spouse, unmarried, or civil partner of the relevant EEA/Swiss sponsor in the UK
  • Children and grandchildren under the age of 21
  • Dependent children and grandchildren older than 21 years
  • Dependent grandparents or parents

Applying For EUSS Family Permit

The applicant can submit an application online for the EUSS family permit from outside the UK. They do not have to pay an application fee, IHS, or other charges while applying for a family permit.


The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Connaught Law and authors accept no responsibility for loss that may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Connaught Law. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Connaught Law.

About the Author

Altin has dealt with a substantial quantity of immigration matters concerning Nationality Law, EEA citizens and their family members, Asylum, Entry Clearance applications, Naturalisation applications and applications involving Human Rights issues.

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