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    EUSS Family Permit

    In case one of your relatives is a citizen of an EU country who is residing in the UK, you might be eligible to join them in the United Kingdom. However, there are many aspects of the procedure that should be taken into account before submitting the application. It is vital to discover the requirements, the actual purpose of the visa, and other factors when considering this option.

    What Is an EUSS Family Permit?

    The EU Settlement Scheme family permit is a visa that enables family members of EU citizens to join them in the United Kingdom.

    The scheme has been implemented due to Brexit and includes some complications, but as long as all criteria can be met, the scheme still enables eligible family members of EU citizens to join them in the UK. Applicants should pay special attention to the requirements under the EUSS, as there have been several updates since the UK parted ways with the European Union.

    Requirements for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

    There are several requirements that have to be met in order to apply for a family permit. First of all, it is necessary to be outside of the United Kingdom, as these applications are not accepted within the country. It is important to mention that the Family Permit is valid for 6 months, and an application can be made to the EU settlement scheme upon arrival in order to obtain Pre-Settled or Settled Status.

    The requirements vary depending on the type of application. There are three situations, in which a person may be eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme family permit:

    1. The applicant is a family member of a citizen of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein.
    2. The applicant is a family member of a British or Irish citizen born in Northern Ireland.
    3. The applicant is a family member of a British citizen and lived with them in an EU country. This route was closed in March 2022, but may still be pursued if there are reasonable grounds for applying after the deadline.

    In the first case, the EU citizen family member needs to have started living in the United Kingdom before 31 December 2020, and their relationship with the applicant also must have existed before this date. In the case of family members of Swiss citizens, the relationship must have existed by 31 December 2025.

    In the second case, the Northern Irish family member needs to have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020, unless they were unable to do so for compelling practical or compassionate reasons.

    In the third situation, when both the applicant and the UK citizen are living abroad, it is necessary for them to live together and be able to prove it. Both of them need to have started living in the EU before 31 December 2020. They also must have reasonable grounds for not moving to the UK by 29 March 2022. There will be additional requirements depending on the specific case. It is recommended to seek legal advice to ensure you are aware of your rights..

    Who are Direct Family Members?

    There are several categories of applicants eligible for an EUSS family permit:

    • this scheme is available for spouses, civil partners and, in some cases, unmarried partners;
    • it works for children, grand-children, and great grand-children of a relevant EU citizen or their partner, including
    • dependent children who are aged 21 or over;
    • dependent parents of eligible citizens can also apply under this scheme.

    The above list is not exhaustive and there are several other categories of It should be taken into account that, in most cases, the relationship needs to have started before 31 December 2020.

    What Does Relevant EU/EEA/Swiss citizen mean?

    To receive an EU Settlement Scheme family permit based on a family member who is a relevant EU/EEA/Swiss citizen, that family member has to be a citizen of one of the countries of the European Union, the European Economic Area, or Switzerland, and has lived in the UK by 31 December 2020.

    What is the Difference Between an EUSS Family Permit and EEA Family Permit?

    The EEA family permit scheme is the former version of the EUSS family permit application route. EEA family permits are no longer issued, so those who haven’t applied for them do not need to learn more about the old route. In 2023, family members of EU/EEA/Swiss citizens should apply for an EUSS family permit instead.

    How to Apply for an EUSS Family Permit?

    As mentioned before, one of the requirements for an EUSS family permit is that the person is outside of the United Kingdom while making the application. The submissions are made online on the official platform of the Home Office.

    Deadlines can apply to some types of application for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit. Applicants who are not sure whether they are eligible are recommended to seek professional guidance before making the application.

    Application Fee for an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit.

    The application for the EU Settlement Scheme for EU and non-EU family members does not have a fee. It can be submitted online on the official platform of the Home Office for free.

    Validity period of an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

    Family permits are issued for up to six months.

    Staying in the UK after your family permit expires

    Of course, there is an opportunity to stay in the United Kingdom after the EUSS family permit expires. The EU Settlement Scheme itself is used to prolong the period of legal stay in the country. In most cases, it grants the person pre-settled status on approval, enabling them to live in the UK for five more years and giving them an option to settle later.

    What if the EUSS family permit application is refused?

    If the application was valid, there will be a right of appeal against any refusal. It is also worth mentioning that under several specific conditions, it might be possible to get a different visa to the UK.

    How can we help?

    The EU Settlement Scheme and family permits can be complicated, but the team of Sterling Law is always willing to provide the required help. Our lawyers have years of experience in this area, and review each case with an individual approach. We will carefully analyse your situation and suggest the best option possible depending on the individual circumstances of your case. You can have a consultation online or visit our office in London depending on your needs and preferences.

    * Please, note that there is a change in the law from 8 August and family of British citizens who lived in the EU will no longer be able to apply under EUSS.

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