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Home Office confirms revision of EEA family permit policy

Belgian Citizen

The Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) has welcomed confirmation from the Home Office that EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) family permits can be granted to dependent relatives who are extended family members of EU or EEA EFTA citizens who applied for an EEA family permit before 31 December 2020 and would have been granted this, including on appeal, had the route not closed on 30th June 2021.

The EEA family permit route enabled an extended family member of an eligible EU, EEA or EFTA citizen to join them or travel with them to the UK for up to six months to work or study or for other purposes. If eligible, the extended family member could then apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in order to stay longer in the UK.

However, EEA family permits were no longer valid for travel to the UK after 30 June 2021. The IMA received complaints that some citizens were having difficulties obtaining a family permit following the closure of the EEA family permit route.

The IMA raised concerns with the Home Office that, were they not already eligible for an EUSS family permit, these citizens were not able to enjoy their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement.

The IMA welcomes the news that the Home Office will be writing to those eligible citizens who had previously been denied an EEA family permit to explain they are now eligible for an EUSS family permit.

The Home Office will also waive the requirement under the EU Settlement Scheme to have been resident in the UK by the end of the transition period for extended family members who are in scope of the EUSS family permit concession. The relevant guidance is now available on the Home Office’s website.

Chief Executive of the IMA, Dr Kathryn Chamberlain said:

“While we are of course pleased that the Home Office has made this concession and will be writing to those citizens they know are affected, we felt it imperative to ensure this revised position and concession was in the public domain as soon as possible.

“We would urge the Home Office to make it very clear these changes have been made by updating their guidance as soon as possible.”

The IMA will continue to monitor and engage with Home Office on EEA family permits and will continue to seek clarity and specificity on the guidance.