EEA Family Permit
There are situations when families in the UK consist of members that are nationals of the European Union and nationals of non-EU countries. For instance, it is possible to be a Dutch citizen and have a Canadian spouse. Additionally, there are many cases of Czech spouses of Polish citizens. The latter means that both partners are citizens of the EU. The examples we’ve provided include spouses that have equal rights of residence in the UK although in the first example the spouse will have to provide a proof or right to work whenever he or she is trying to get a job. This is where EEA Family Permit can help.
EEA Family Permit Explained
An EEA Family Permit (European Economic Area Family Permit) is a type of immigration permit that helps the holder to enter the UK legally based on the fact that he or she is a family member of a national of a contracting country to the EEA agreement. This includes the Swiss citizens too. The permit is issued by the immigration authorities in the United Kingdom under the immigration Regulations introduced in 2006.
Theoretically, it’s not mandatory to have a family permit and you can still ask the authorities to enter the United Kingdom without it. However, nationals of non-EEA countries that don’t have a visa or a family permit like this can experience difficulties to enter and stay in the UK because a huge number of carriers don’t allow passengers without such permit to board their planes, buses, boats or trains. In rare cases, family members are also denied entry to the United Kingdom because they don’t have a family permit.
An EEA family permit is often issued for short, tourist-like visits or to let the holder take up UK residence. This document lasts for 6 months. Once this time is passed, the individual has to apply for a new permit.