The restriction against family members who are in the UK as visitors switching over to pre-settled status has been removed with effect from the 6th of October.

That means family members who are already in the UK can go ahead and make an application under the EUSS.

They don't need to leave the country to make an application from abroad if they are EEA nationals or apply for a family permit if they are non EEA nationals.

However, family members who are still outside the UK should follow the usual rules and make an application for pre-settled status via the EU Exit app from abroad if they are EEA nationals, or apply for a family permit if they are non EEA nationals.

​ Close family members who have been living abroad can still apply under the EUSS or obtain a family permit after the end of June.

​ Close family members of eligible EEA nationals (EEA nationals living in the UK before the end of December 2020) can join their family member in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. Close family members are:
  • spouses, civil partners or unmarried partners
  • children or grandchildren aged under 21
  • dependent children or grandchildren of any age
  • dependent parent or grandparent
​ The family relationship, i.e. marriage or civil partnership, should have been in place before the end of December 2020 and must still exist.

​ The family member doesn't need to have been living in the UK before the end of 2020, however, EEA nationals who were not living in the UK before the end of 2020 and who obtain EUSS status as joining family members, will not enjoy family reunion rights under the EUSS themselves. The Home Office will put a flag on their record to this effect.

​ Dependency for parents is no longer assumed, see: Parents, grandparents and great grandparents

​ Extended family members, such as siblings and other relatives can no longer join their family members via this route, unless they hold a valid document issued under EEA rules based on the relationship, such as:
  • an EEA family permit; or
  • an EEA residence card
EEA family permits stopped being valid at the end of June, we are awaiting a response from the Home Office regarding alternatives for those who were recently issued with those permits.

Eligibility

The following family members can apply
  • spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • child or grandchild aged under 21
  • dependent child or grandchild of any age
  • dependent parent or grandparent
Requirements
  • you must be a close family member (see above) of an EEA or Swiss national, or a ‘person of Northern Ireland’ (see below)
  • the family relationship must have been in place by 31 December 2020
  • the EEA national sponsor was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • the EEA national sponsor must be in the UK already or traveling with the family member to the UK within 6 months of the application.
​The EEA national sponsor must be in the UK when the application is made, unless they are travelling to the UK with the family member.

​ Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 are also eligible if they’re the child of an EEA or Swiss citizen or of their spouse or civil partner.

​​ If you’re married to or in a civil partnership with an eligible Swiss citizen, you can still apply if you got engaged or formed your partnership after 31 December 2020 and you’re still together when you apply.

Who can sponsor a family member
  • an EEA or Swiss national
  • a person of Northern Ireland
  • an EEA or Swiss national who naturalised as British
  • a frontier worker (an EEA or Swiss citizen who travels regularly to work in the UK but lives in another EEA state)
  • a British citizen who also has dual EU, EEA or Swiss nationality and was settled in the UK before 16 July 2012 without using their free movement rights (also known as a ‘McCarthy’ case).
​ The family member must either have EUSS status or be eligible for it. This means:
  • they were living in the UK before the end of December 2020; and
  • they meet the suitability criteria regarding criminality.
​​ An eligible person of Northern Ireland is someone who:
  • was born in Northern Ireland; and
  • has British, Irish or dual British and Irish citizenship. At the time of their birth, one of their parents must have been:
  • a British citizen
  • an Irish citizen
  • a dual British and Irish citizen
  • entitled to reside in Northern Ireland with no restriction on their period of residence.
​​ Evidence of the above should be provided with the application.

​​ Irish nationals do not need to apply under the EUSS but they must meet the eligibility and suitability criteria, this means:
  • living in the UK before the end of December 2020; and
  • meeting the suitability criteria regarding criminality.
​​ Naturalised EEA or Swiss nationals should:
  • have retained their EEA or Swiss citizenship; and
  • have become a naturalised British citizen after exercising treaty rights in the UK
​​ Frontier workers:
  • must be an EEA or Swiss citizen;
  • have been working in the UK by 31 December 2020 as an employee or self-employed person;
  • be primarily resident in another country that is not the UK;
  • have been a frontier worker continuously since 1 January 2021.
​​ Frontier workers cannot be British citizens.

Issues with late birth registrations and birth certificates

​ We are seeing a lot of refusals where birth certificates show the birth was registered long after the child was actually born, if your birth or your family member's was registered late, you may need to provide a DNA test to prove the relationship. The Home Office cannot specifically ask you to do it, but you can provide one. If you are affected by this, you may wish to seek legal advice: Legal Advice.

Please note that documents other than birth certificates, such as family documents, may not be accepted. As above, you may wish to seek legal advice before you make an application.

Applying from outside the UK

​ Family members who are, themselves, EEA nationals can apply from outside the UK if they have a valid passport or ID card with a biometric chip.


​ Family members who are non-EEA nationals can apply from outside the UK if they have a relevant document, such as:
  • a residence card
  • a permanent residence card
  • a derivative residence card
​ These applications can be made using the EU Exit app.

​ Non-EEA nationals who haven't got one of the above documents need to apply for a family permit, see: EUSS family permit.

​ If you arrive in the UK on or after 1 April 2021, you must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of the date you arrive in the UK.

​ Family members of Irish nationals can also apply even when the Irish national sponsor does not need to apply under the EUSS.

​ Family members of eligible persons of Northern Ireland can also apply.

Applying from inside the UK

Family members arriving on family permits UK must apply within 3 months of arrival in the UK.

​ Non-EEA nationals can apply using a valid biometric residence card via the EU Exit app. If you apply in this way, you will not be issued with another card to prove your EUSS status. See: Applying with a biometric card

​ Non-EEA nationals who haven't got a valid biometric card have to book a biometrics appointment to start the process, these applicants will be issued with a EUSS card. See: Applying without a biometric card


​See:​ If the sponsor family member is a British citizen, see: