UK Visas in Ghana
UK Visas in Ghana
UK Visas in Ghana
UK Visas in Ghana
UK Visas in Ghana
UK Visas in Ghana

An EEA family permit is a permit used for nationals of countries outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who are family members of EEA nationals.

Who is a family member?

The range of family members entitled to join the EEA citizen depends on whether the EEA citizen is exercising the right of residence. The EC Directive provides that the general right of residence for less than 3 months extends to family members regardless of whether they themselves are nationals of an EU member state or not. Family members are categorized as follows:

  • husband, wife or civil partner;
  • their children or grandchildren (or the children or grandchildren of their husband, wife or civil partner) who are under 21 years of age or are dependent on the EEA national;
  • the parents, or grandparents of the EEA national and their husband, wife or civil partner if they are dependent on the EEA national.

Article 3 further provides for entry and residence to be facilitated for:

  • other family members who are dependents or members of the household of the EU citizen in the country from which they have come;
  • other family members where serious health grounds require the personal care of the family member by the EU citizen; or
  • a partner with whom the EU citizen has a durable relationship duly attested;

The main limitation for family members is that for a EU citizen who is studying, the right of residence can be extended only to a spouse, a registered partner and dependent children, although it may be possible to facilitate under Article 3 the relatives in the directly ascending line of the EU citizen, his spouse or registered partner. It is important to note that the rights of the non-EEA family member are derived from their relationship with a qualified family member and if the EEA national is not a qualified person under the Directive, the family member loses their secondary rights.

Who is a qualified EEA national?

Under the provisions of the Directive, all EEA nationals have an initial right of residence in the UK for a period of 3 months without any conditions or formalities other than the requirement to hold a valid passport. The right exists where people are moving from one state to another but if they seek to establish a right of residence for more than 3 months they must then fall into one of the categories of persons set out in the Directive who are permitted to reside. The categories of those who can have a right of residence for longer than 3 months are:

  • workers or self-employed persons in the host member state, or
  • persons who have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members not to become a burden on the social assistance system of the host member state during their period of residence and have comprehensive richness insurance cover in the home member state, or
  • persons enrolled at a private or public establishment for the principal purpose of following a course of study, and have comprehensive sickness insurance cover.

The term worker is broadly interpreted to include not only full-time employment but part-time job employment provided it satisfies the test of employment propounded by the European Court of Justice (ECJ). The ECJ has emphasised in a series of decisions that the proper test in determining qualifying employment was whether the employed activity was effective and genuine and not merely marginal and ancillary. The Directive further provides that a person can stay on as a “worker” after having been employed if they are:

  • temporarily unable to work as a result of illness or accident;
  • in recorded involuntary unemployment after having been employed for more than one year and is registered as a jobseeker with the employment office;
  • in recorded involuntary unemployment after having completed a fixed-term contract or becoming involuntarily unemployed within 12 months of the contract and has registered as a job seeker with the employment office. In this case, the person remains a worker for no more than 6 months.
  • embarking on a vocational training course.

On the production of evidence of employment, this person must be issued with a registration certificate as confirmation that they have the right of residence.

Self Employment

A person who claims to be a qualified person under this category must be self-employed and registered for income tax and national insurance purposes as a self-employed with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC). A self-employed person who is temporarily unable to continue self-employment owing to accident or illness will not lose their status as qualified person.


To qualify as a student, the person must:

  • be enrolled on a course of study at a private or public educational establishment;
  • show that they have enough money to meet their living expenses;
  • be registered on a course of study that has started;
  • have comprehensive sickness insurance.

A person is self-sufficient if they have enough money to pay for their living expenses without being reliant on public funds in the UK and has comprehensive sickness insurance cover in the UK. To qualify under this category, the person must be able to show more than the maximum level of resources which a UK national and their family members can have in order to qualify for social assistance under the UK benefits system.

Applying for EEA family permit

A non-EEA family member who applies for a EEA family permit on the basis of a qualifying EEA relative must provide documents in proof of the claimed relationship. These may include:

  • the EEA nationals original passport or ID card, or if this cannot be obtained (for example because the EEA national is already in the UK) a copy of the EEA nationals passport or ID card, endorsed by the EEA nationals embassy in the country in which they are resident or present as the time of the application;
  • proof of the relationship to the EEA national (for example their birth certificate or marriage certificate);
  • a letter from the EEA national declaring that they are traveling with them or are joining them in the UK;
  • if the non-EEA national is not the EEA national’s spouse, civil partner or child or grandchildren under 21 years, they must provide evidence that they are dependent on them or have lived with them as part of their household;
  • if the applicant is the unmarried partner of the EEA national, they must provide evidence that they have been living with the EEA national in a relationship akin to marriage for 2 years;
  • if the applicant is under 18 years of age and one or both of their parents or guardian is not traveling with them, they must provide their written permission for the applicant to enter the UK.
Evidence that the EEA national is a qualified person

If the EEA national has lived in the UK for more than 3 months, they must provide evidence that they are a qualified person. This evidence could include:

  • their contract of employment, wage slips, and/or a letter from their employer if they are a worker;
  • evidence of their national insurance contributions, construction industry scheme card (if applicable), lease on business premises, contracts, invoices, audited accounts, and/or bank statements, if they are self-employed;
  • a school/college/University letter confirming their enrollment and the completion date of their course, and/or bank statements or evidence of a grant or scholarship, if they are a student;
  • evidence that they have sufficient funds to maintain themselves and their family members for the or period of their residence in the UK, if they are self-sufficient.

An application for an EEA family permit may be refused on any of the following if:

  • the applicant submits a false document;
  • the applicant has not provided sufficient evidence that they are related to the EEA national as claimed;
  • where applicable the applicant fails to submit sufficient evidence that they are dependent on the EEA national;
  • the EEA nationals does not have a right of resident in the UK; or
  • the ECO finds that the applicant involved is in a marriage or civil partnership of convenience. A marriage or civil partnership is one of convenience if it is for immigration purposes only, with neither person planning to live with the other in a genuine or settled relationship.
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