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An EEA national’s right to enter and remain in the United Kingdom was determined by EU legislation before Brexit.

The regulation provided that nationals of EEA member states and Swiss Nationals have an automatic right to enter the UK and remain here for an initial period of 3 months providing valid identity is shown. In order to remain in the UK for a period exceeding those 3 months, the EEA national had to be a ‘Qualified Person’. This means either a “worker”, “self-employed person”, “self-sufficient person” or a “student”. You may also have been considered a qualified person if you  were a worker or self-employed person who has ceased activity due to illness or involuntary termination.After 5 years as a ‘qualified person’, you are entitled to reside permanently in the UK (whether or not you continue to be a worker, student or job seeker). There was no need for an EEA National to possess documentation confirming their status in the United Kingdom in order to be legally present here. However, many individuals find that the process of finding work was much simpler when they had official documentation to prove their right to reside here.

Issue of an EA Family Permit

A family member of an EA national  could have made a successful application for an EA Family Permit if the EA national was residing in the UK in accordance with the Regulations and the family member was accompanying or joining the EA national to/in the UK.  Under EU law, a non-EA national family member can derive a right of residence in the UK through the EA national, providing that the EA national has a right to reside under the 2016 Regulations.  Regulation 2.1 defines an EA national as a national of an EA state.  The only way that an application of this kind was refused is if the entry clearance officer was to believe that the marriage was one of convenience.  Therefore, it is very important to provide evidence of the relationship.

Family members of an EU national could join the EU national in the UK under the (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016. The following were considered as direct family members:

  • Spouse or civil partner,
  • Direct descendants of an EA national or their spouse or civil partner who are under the age of 21;
  • Dependants of the EEA national or their spouse or civil partner
  • Dependent direct relatives in the ascending line of the EEA national or their spouse or civil partner.

Any other applicants should be considered under the provisions relating to extended family members.  Direct family members have an automatic right of residence in the UK for as long as they remain the family member of an EA national.

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Danielle invites you to take a look at her blog, where you will see the diverse range of clients that she has helped.

Danielle and her team of Immigration Solicitors in London deal with EEA applications on a daily basis and will be able to help you to collate the relevant evidence of residency and complete the lengthy application form with ease. This way you will be able to obtain your documentation as quickly and efficiently as possible.If you would like assistance with your application please call us on 020 7267 4133.

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