There is often a lot of confusion about the EEA Family Permit. What is the EEA Family Permit?
An EU citizen who takes up residence in the UK, in accordance with the EU regulations can bring his/her family with him/her.
The family accompanying the EU citizen have to apply for the EEA Family Permit. This permit allows the holders to enter and leave the UK.
The permit is valid for a period of six months and allows the holder to enter and leave the UK.
I am South African, and my South African spouse has dual nationality from an EU country. Will we be able to live and work in the UK?
Yes, you will be able to apply for the EEA Family permit, to accompany your spouse to the UK. Please also see above.
Do I need to apply for an EU Residence Card, or is the EEA Family Permit sufficient?
The EEA Family Permit is only an entry clearance for the UK.
We advise that the EU-national and all the non-EU family members apply for an EU Residence Card. You can do this within the first six months of arrival in the UK.
If you are successful in the application, the residence card will be issued in the format of a Biometric Residence Permit. This EU residence card will confirm the person’s right of residence in the UK and is valid for a period of five years.
It is not compulsory to apply for the residence card. However, it will make life easier, as it proves a person’s right to live and work in the UK.
It is, however, compulsory to apply for the residence card, if you are an extended family member of the EU-national.
Will I eventually be able to qualify for Indefinite Leave to Remain after obtaining an EEA Family Permit?
It is possible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, after spending five years in the UK, from the first date of entry, with the EEA family visa.
All the family members can lodge this application, including the EU citizen.
To be successful in the application, the EU citizen exercises his/her EU Treaty rights throughout the five-year period.
How much can I travel as the holder of a five-year residence permit? Keeping in mind that I want to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain?
We would normally recommend that the holder of the five-year residence permit do not travel more than 180 days per year. This will then show that their main place of residence is the UK. If the holder spends more time outside of the UK rather than in the UK it can jeopardise the Indefinite Leave to Remain application.
Please note that this is if the traveller is allowed to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain. There are different restrictions for the British Citizenship application.