What is an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit?
An EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit is a form of entry clearance in the UK. It is a permission to enter the UK granted for a limited period of time, to join or to accompany to the UK a close family member who is an EEA or Swiss citizen (EEA includes the EU Member States, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein).
The family member already in the UK must have started their period of residency in the UK before 31 December 2020, and must have been granted settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme based on their residency in the UK before 31 December 2020.
Within three months of arrival in the UK with an EUSS Family Permit, the holder of the permit must apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme if they wish to remain in the UK after the expiry date of the EUSS Family Permit. This is why the EUSS Family Permit is actually granted, for the purposes of acquiring settled or pre-settled status in the UK after arriving in the UK.
For a non-EU citizen, applying for an EUSS Family Permit is the only option under the EU Settlement Scheme.
For an EU citizen, there is also the alternative of applying directly for pre-settled status from outside the UK, without applying for an EUSS Family Permit first.
The EUSS Family Permit is granted to those making a valid application, meeting the eligibility requirements, and who are not to be refused on grounds of suitability.
What does it mean to make a valid application? It means to complete the correct online application form, use a valid, accepted identity document, and provide your biometrics at the visa application centre. Read more about valid applications here.
Who is eligible for an EUSS Family Permit? Close family members (spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, children or grandchildren aged under 21, dependent children or grandchildren of any age, dependent parents or grandparents) of Swiss and EEA citizens who have been granted settled or pre-settled status in the UK.
Who is to be refused on grounds of suitability? Those subject to a deportation order, or to an exclusion order or exclusion decision. Those who submitted, in relation to the application and whether or not to their knowledge, false or misleading information, representations or documents, where the information, representation or documentation is material to the decision. And others who broke the law.
The application must be made from outside the UK, as the applicant seeks right to entry. Where an EUSS Family Pemit is issued, the authority to admit the person to the UK ultimately rests with the Immigration Officer at the port of entry. Therefore, in theory, the holder of an EUSS Family Permit may be denied entry into the country.
If you want to apply for an EUSS Family Permit and need specialist advice, feel free to contact me. Please note that I am an accredited immigration adviser, not an employee of the UK Visas and Immigration. I charge fees for the advice provided.