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Brexit, European Nationals & Non-EEA Family Members


On 23 June 2016 UK voted to leave EU. It is schedule to depart on 23 March 2019. UK government’s policy towards EEA nationals and their family members after departure is still under consideration.

Currently the EEA nationals has right of free movement, it means they are free to live, work and to run business anywhere in UK. The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Romania, Bulgaria and the UK. Although Iceland, Liechtenstein, Swiss and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens to enter, live in and work in the UK.

The family members (spouse, children, parents and extended family members) of EEA national are entitled to live together irrespective of their nationality.  EEA nationals are not required to apply for immigration documents but if they wish to apply for such documents they will apply for Registration Certificate. However the non-EEA national family members need residence documents. There are two types of residence documents for non-EEA family members.

Outside UK

If you are a family member of an EEA national and you are coming from outside UK to join an EEA national family member, you need to apply for entry clearance from your country of origin, if you are a citizen of a visa national country.  You will be issued family permit to enter and live in UK. To apply for an entry clearance you need to go to Visa4UK or you can complete VAF5 form for residence permit.

Inside UK

If you are already inside UK and you wish to apply to UK Visa & Immigration, you need to apply for Residence Card.  The relevant form for residence card is EEA2 residence card form.

You can find information about EEA Regulations by clicking here.

Permanent Residence

If you have lived in UK for 5 years in accordance with EEA regulations as a qualified personwho exercised treaty rights, you can apply for permanent residence. You are said to be exercising Treaty rights if you are:

  • employed or self-employed; or
  • studying; or
  • economically self- sufficient (meaning that you have sufficient funds to support you without requiring public funds); or
  • a jobseeker; or
  • retired; or
  • someone who has had to cease working in the UK owing to permanent incapacity.

British Nationality

Member of the EEA community are not subject to Immigration Control. If you have lived in UK for 5 years and you exercised your treaty rights and you also fulfil the requirements to be a British citizen, you can apply to a British citizen. However your Non-EEA family members are subject to immigration control and they can only apply for Naturalisation after getting permanent residence in UK.