EU free movement ended on the 31st December 2020. However, if you are an EEA Citizen living in the UK and have been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme (the EUSS), your overseas parents, grandparents and great-grandparents (and those of your spouse or civil partner), may still be able to join you, regardless of their own nationality.
If you hold settled or pre-settled status, both are sufficient to enable your family members to join you.
Providing the relationship was established before the end of 2020, there is no deadline for these relatives to join you. However, there is a great incentive to apply now, before 1st July 2021.
The requirements for dependents of EEA Citizens seeking residence in the UK
- The applicant must be your direct relative in the ascending line (i.e. parents, grandparents and great-grandparents).
- You must be a relevant EEA Citizen.
- Your relationship to the applicant must have existed by 31st December 2020 and still exist
- The applicant must, in most cases, be dependent on you, or your spouse or civil partner.
- The applicant must meet the suitability requirements.
Who is deemed ‘dependent’ on an EEA Citizen?
A parent, grand-parent or great-grandparent, will be considered to be ‘dependent’ if, they can’t meet their essential living needs (financial, health and social) without financial or material support from the relevant EEA Citizen, their spouse or civil partner.
What about adoptive parents – can they apply to join an EEA Citizen in the UK?
In short, the answer is ‘yes’, adoptive parents can qualify to join you in the UK.
However, step-parents do not fall within the definition of a ‘dependent parent’.
Why dependent family members should apply now?
All applicants must be ‘dependant’ in order to join you. However, it is not necessary to provide evidence of this, for applications made by 30th June 2021. In these cases, dependency will be assumed.
For applications made after 30th June 2021, it will be necessary to provide sufficient evidence. This must satisfy the decision maker that the applicant is dependent on you. The application process will become more document heavy and likely to be subject to much more scrutiny.
Making an application to join an EEA Citizen in the UK
The type of application the applicant will be required to make will depend on:
- Their own nationality; and
- Whether they have previously obtained UK residence documentation.
Currently, parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, who are EEA Citizens themselves but did not arrive in the UK before 31st December 2020, can apply to the EUSS for pre-settled status (as your family member) from outside the UK. Once granted, they may travel to the UK relying on this status.
Non-EEA Citizens will usually need to apply in the first instance for an EUSS Family Permit. This will enable them to enter the UK to join you. Once they arrive, they can make an application under the EUSS for pre-settled status. If this is on or after 1st April 2021, this application would have to be made within 3 months of their arrival.
Those who already hold relevant UK documentation issued under the EEA Regulations, may also be able to apply directly under the EUSS for pre-settled status from outside of the UK. Relevant documentation may include a residence card, a permanent residence card or a derivative residence card.