M&K Solicitors

Apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to join family in the UK

Apply if you’re living outside the UK with a British citizen

You can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK with an eligible family member if both of the following apply:

  • they’re a British citizen
  • you have lived with them in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein since before 31 December 2020

This is also known as a ‘Surinder Singh’ application.

If your relationship with the eligible family member started before 1 February 2020, you have until 29 March 2022 to apply for a family permit to come back to the UK. The same deadline applies to children born to or adopted by them on or after 1 February 2020.

You can apply after 29 March 2022 if you can show evidence of ‘reasonable grounds’ for not returning to the UK by then, such as medical reasons or coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

You will need to have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not returning to the UK by 31 December 2020 if one of the following applies:

  • your relationship with them started on or after 1 February 2020
  • you’re a dependent relative (other than a dependent child or grandchild over 21 or a dependent parent or grandparent)

You will need to show evidence of why you did not return by then when you apply for your family permit.

Eligible family members

You must be:

  • their spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner
  • their child or grandchild under 21
  • their dependent child or grandchild over 21
  • their dependent parent or grandparent
  • another type of dependent relative

This includes family members who were adopted under an adoption order that’s recognised in UK law.

You can also apply if you’re one of the following family members of the spouse or civil partner:

  • their child or grandchild aged under 21
  • their dependent child or grandchild over 21
  • their dependent parent or grandparent
  • another type of dependent relative

The country that you’ve been living in together must be your main residence. Your British family member must have been working (including on a posting with HM Armed Forces), self-employed, studying or living self-sufficiently in the country while there.

Documents you’ll need to apply

You must provide proof of your identity, which can be either:

  • a valid passport
  • a valid national identity card, if you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

You may be able to use other proof of your identity and nationality if you cannot provide either of these because of a ‘compelling practical or compassionate’ reason. For example, you cannot travel to get this document because of an illness or coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions.

When you apply, you will need to explain why you cannot provide a passport or national identity card, and provide supporting evidence.

You must also provide:

  • your British family member’s valid passport
  • evidence of your relationship to them, such as a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate or birth certificate

Evidence of where you are living together

You and your British family member must give evidence showing that you are living together in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein as your main residence. The documents must show:

  • that you are living together in that country
  • your address – if you’ve lived at more than one, you must include them
  • time spent living at each address
  • any proof of renting or buying a home

You must also provide proof that your British family member has been working, self-employed, studying or living self-sufficiently in the country while you’ve been there.

Examples of proof include employer’s letters, wage slips, contracts, bank statements, proof of tax registration, or proof of enrolment and attendance for study.

If you’re a dependent child, grandchild, parent or grandparent or relative

You’ll also need evidence of your dependency on your British family member, or their spouse or civil partner, if you’re:

  • a dependent child or grandchild, and you’re over 21 – you must show you were dependent on them by 31 December 2020
  • a dependent parent or grandparent, and your eligible family member was under 18 on 31 December 2020 – you must show you were dependent on them by 31 December 2020
  • another dependent relative – you must show you were dependent on them by 31 December 2020 and still are when you apply

Apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit

You must apply online for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit.

You must be outside the UK to apply.

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