EEA nationals who are exercising treaty rights can 'sponsor' their family members who are not. This includes spouses/civil partners as well as children.

If you were living with your EEA national parents when you were child, and one or both of them were working or self employed, then you will be able to apply for PR on that basis.

Instead of sending evidence that you were exercising treaty rights for five years, you send of evidence that they were exercising treaty rights and that you were in the UK as their dependent.

If the EEA national has already obtained a PR card, they only need to send the PR card and not evidence of exercising treaty rights. The Home Office will ask for more evidence if an when required.

According to the EEA Regulations, a child family member is automatically a dependent if they are under 21, and can be considered a family member if they are over 21 and living with the family member or financially dependent on them.

If you can prove that you acquired PR status when you were a child, you will be issued with your PR documents even if you are well over the age of 21 at the time of application.

You can mix periods when you were sponsored by family members (such as your spouse or parents), and when you were a qualified person in your own right, as long as your sponsor is not a British citizen, because they cannot sponsor you under the EEA rules.

Family members of British citizens

If your spouse or civil partner is a British citizen, they can't be your sponsor, so you'll need to apply on your own merit. This is also applicable if your unmarried partner is British.

UK nationals are covered by UK law when they are in the UK, and a UK national is not exercising a right to free movement when in their own country, so an application made with a UK national sponsor could only be made under the UK immigration rules.

The exception to this is when the UK national has been living in another EEA country and working, and therefore exercising his treaty rights elsewhere. This is known as the 'Surinder Singh' provision, where they may be able to then sponsor his family in the UK under the EEA Regulations.

This is something which is often done with UK nationals married to non-EEA nationals, and it should also be possible for UK nationals married to EEA nationals.

However, the Surinder Singh route is very complicated and not required for EU nationals who are able to apply for settled status based purely on residence.


Dual UK/EU nationals (naturalised EU citizens)

For a long time, the stance has been that a family member can only sponsor you during the time before they became British citizens and not for any period of time after naturalising, however, in the recently heard Lounes case, the Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that EU citizens who move to the UK and later naturalise as British retain their free movement rights under EU law even after becoming British.

The court has held that the UK has wrongly been refusing to recognise free movement rights for such EU citizens since 2012.

This is documented here: The Lounes Judgment - naturalised EEA nationals retain their EEA rights - UKCEN Citizenship and Residence for European Nationals and their families

This judgment has now been implemented into law in The Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2018: The Immigration (European Economic Area) (Amendment) Regulations 2018.