European Law

EEA FAMILY PERMIT

A non-EEA family member of an EEA national will need to obtain an EEA family permit before travelling to the UK if they are a ‘visa national’; or coming to live with the EEA national in the UK permanently or on a long-term basis.

However, the non-EEA family member must be travelling to the UK with the EEA national; or to join the EEA national here.

If the EEA national is outside the UK and is not travelling with them, the non-EEA family member must instead apply for a visa (if they need one) before they can come to the UK.

If a non-EEA family member is living in the UK and has a residence document confirming their right of residence here, they do not need to apply for an EEA family permit each time they enter the UK after travelling abroad.

Although the UK is a member of the EEA, a non-EEA family member of a British citizen should not generally come to the UK using an EEA family permit. However, a non-EEA family member of a British citizen living abroad can apply for an EEA family permit to join the British citizen on their return to the UK if the British citizen has been living in an EEA member state as a worker or self-employed person; and the family member, if they are the British citizen’s spouse or civil partner, has been living together with the British citizen in the EEA country.

When you apply, you must provide documents to the Home Office to prove your relationship to an EEA national who is coming to the UK or already here.

If you are the non-European family member of an EEA or Swiss national, and you have come to the UK with them, you can apply for a residence card. This is a document which confirms your right of residence under European law. Your residence card may take the form of an endorsement in your passport (also called a ‘vignette’), or it may be a separate document called an ‘immigration status document’. A residence card is normally valid for 5 years from the date when it is issued.

When you have lived here for a continuous period of 5 years with the EEA or Swiss national (who must have been in employment, self-employment, studying or self-sufficient in the UK throughout the 5 years), you can apply for confirmation of your right to permanent residence in the UK.

We can help you apply in the correct category under Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006.

BULGARIA &ROMANIA

All EEA and Swiss nationals can enter and live in the UK without needing to apply for any Home Office permission, if they can support themselves and their families in the UK without becoming an unreasonable burden on public funds. But Bulgarian and Romanian nationals may need to apply for the Home Office permission before they can work here.

If you want to work as an employee in the UK, you will normally need that permission before you start work. You may need to obtain an accession worker card, or you can work under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme (SAWS) or the Sectors Based Scheme.

You do not need the Home Office permission to work in a self-employed capacity. However, you can apply for a registration certificate to confirm your right to work as a self-employed person in the UK, if you want to do this.

TURKISH EMPLOYEES &SELF-EMPLOYED

Turkish nationals may benefit from the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey if they are already working legally in the UK and want to extend their stay.

If you are a Turkish national who is legally employed in the UK because you have a visa that gives you permission to work, a decision by the Association Council of the ECAA has given you certain rights. You may: apply for further permission to stay in the UK after you have worked here for 1 year, so that you can continue to work for the same employer (if a job is available); change employers after you have been working here for 3 years, if you are continuing to work in the same occupation; and work in any type of job for any employer after you have been working here for 4 years.

If your application is successful, the Home Office will give you permission to stay as a Turkish ECAA employed person.

If your family members are currently living with you in the UK, they may be able to extend their stay under the ECAA. You will not be able to apply for permission to settle here permanently (known as ‘indefinite leave to remain’).

You cannot benefit from the ECAA if you have breached UK immigration law in order to be able to work. If this is the case, you will need to meet the requirements of the current immigration rules – this means that you will need to apply for permission to stay and work here under Tier 2 of the points-based system.

Turkish nationals may also benefit from the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey if they want to establish themselves in business in the UK.

If you are a Turkish national and you want to establish yourself in business in the UK, you can apply to come to or remain here in the Turkish ECAA business category. The Home Office will consider your application under the business provisions that were in force in 1973.

If you are already in the UK and your family members are living with you, they may be able to extend their stay under the ECAA.

You cannot benefit from the ECAA if you have breached UK immigration law in order to be able to apply to establish yourself in business here. If this is the case, you will need to meet the requirements of the current immigration rules – which means that you will need to apply as an Entrepreneur under Tier 1 of the points-based system.

Contact us today for advice and assistance on any issue relevant to the above categories.