Family members of a relevant EEA citizen under EUSS

Family members of EEA nationals might be eligible to apply for Pre-Settled or Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

Joining family member of a relevant EEA citizen

Under Annex 1 of Appendix EU, the categories of joining family members of a relevant EEA citizen are listed as follows:

  • Spouse;
  • Civil partner;
  • Specified spouse or civil partner of a Swiss citizen;
  • Child, grandchild or great-grandchild (including of the spouse or civil partner);
  • Dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent (including of the spouse or civil partner).

For those who didn’t reside in the UK prior to 31 December 2020, they might be able to make an application as a ‘joining family member of a relevant sponsor’ under EUSS. However, applicants will need to demonstrate that the relationship with the relevant EEA citizen commenced prior to 31 December 2020 (except in the case of a child who was born or adopted after this date), and the relationship must continue to exist at the date of application.

Adult children, parents and grandparents are direct family members, but they will need to demonstrate that they are dependent on their EU sponsors. Please note that until 30 June 2021, dependency was assumed for family permits made by a dependent parent, but this is no longer the case.

The threshold for “unmarried partners” is higher as the Immigration Rules require a relationship to have been durable before 31 December 2020 for family members of EEA nationals.  This means that the expected evidence would be of two years’ cohabitation completed prior to 31 December 2020 (or other significant evidence of a durable relationship prior to that date). It is also necessary to demonstrate that a relationship remains durable at the date of application. If the two years residence was in the UK, then the durable partner can rely on having been issued an EEA residence card or having ben lawfully based in the UK in a  different visa category.

Please note that if the application was made on/after 1 July 2021, the EEA sponsor will need to provide evidence that they had been residing in the UK before 31 December 2020, and hold a Pre-Settled or Settled status under EUSS.

Extended family member of a relevant EEA citizen

Under the EEA Regulations 2016, an extended family member is defined as below:

  • a relative of an EEA national who is residing in a country other than the UK and is dependent on the EEA national
  • is a member of their household and either:
  • is accompanying the EEA national to the UK or wishes to join them;
  • has joined them in the UK and continues to be dependent on them or to be a member of their household;
  • a relative of an EEA national who strictly requires the personal care of the EEA national due to serious health grounds
  • a relative of an EEA national who would meet the requirements of the Immigration Rules for indefinite leave to remain (other than those relating to entry clearance) as a dependent relative of an EEA national as if the EEA national was a person present and settled in the UK
  • the partner (other than a civil partner) of an EEA national who can prove they are in a durable relationship with the EEA national

Please note that ‘relative’ includes: brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews, and they are also referred to as ‘dependent relatives’. Unfortunately, there is no application under EUSS which can be made for these family members to join or remain with their EEA sponsor in the UK, unless they have established their dependencies and/or connections prior to 31 December 2020.

Temporary concession

On 9 December 2021, the Home Office updated EUSS guidance. The guidance states:

‘The requirement that a person applying as a family member of a relevant EEA citizen must have been resident in the UK by the end of the transition period at 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020 on a basis which met the definition of ‘family member of a relevant EEA citizen’ in Annex 1 to Appendix EU, is disapplied in certain circumstances, as a temporary concession outside Appendix EU.’

The circumstances are where the migrant is an extended family member (other than a durable partner), that is a dependant relative, who was granted an EUSS family permit under a concession outside Appendix EU (Family Permit). For instance, if an individual applied for an EEA family permit before 31 December 2020, and would have been issued with the permit but for the closure of that route on 30 June 2021 or the migrant was unable to travel to the UK by the date.

Please note that the migrant must continue to meet all other relevant requirements under Appendix EU to qualify for status under the EUSS.

Meanwhile, an individual who is relying on this temporary concession may be considered to have reasonable grounds for missing the 30 June 2021 deadline applicable to them.

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