EU Citizens, Family Members


If you are an EU citizen residing in the UK, you can apply to register under the EU Settlement Scheme for pre-settled or settled status. Evidencing your rights as an EU citizen, be that under the EU Settlement Scheme or otherwise, may not be easy and, in some cases, extensive evidence is required.


We are specialists in cases involving EU citizens and their family members, and also Non-EEA nationals, who are family members of/ married to EEA nationals.We are now in a transition period which is due to end on 31 December 2020.  On 1 January 2021 a new post-Brexit immigration system will be introduced.


Until the transition period ends, as an EU citizen you may live and work in the UK if you are exercising your rights under EU law as a worker, a self-employed individual, a self-sufficient person or a student. Provided that you can demonstrate this, your family members would also be entitled to live with you in the UK.

We advise on the following applications:

  • applications under the EUSS.
  • permanent residence (PR) documentation.
  • naturalisation of European nationals.
  • residence cards for qualifying family members; and
  • derivative residence cards as well as applications for those who have retained the right of residence.


If you are the family member of an EEA or Swiss national, but you are neither British nor European, you deriverights to move to the UK with your family member. You are able to apply for an EEA residence card if you are the spouse, civil partner or extended family member of an EEA national, and the card will usually be valid for an initial period of 5 years. After the initial period, you will be able to apply for a permanent residence card. A residence card signifies your entitlement to permanent residence in line with your family member.


A family member of an EU national can make a successful application for an EU Family Permit if the EU national is residing in the UK in accordance with the Regulations and the family member will be accompanying or joining the EU national to/in the UK.  Under EU law, a non-EU national family member can derive a right of residence in the UK through the EU national, providing that the EU national has a right to reside under the 2016 Regulations.


Permanent residence is the right to live permanently in an EU member state. An application for permanent residence is particularly important if you wish to apply for British citizenship. We provide strategic advice on the immigration implications of Brexit and what it means for individuals and families.


Once an EU national has permanent residence, often they can apply for British citizenship. The difference between British citizenship and permanent residence is that permanent residence is the official right to live in the UK permanently without needing to apply for visas to remain in the country. British citizenship on the other hand grants the person full rights of a British national, in that it includes the right to apply for a British passport. Once in possession of a permanent residence document, an EU national can make an application for naturalisation, and the requirements for this application are essentially the same for EU and non-EU citizens.

EEA nationals and their family members can apply for UK Citizenship, but from 12 November 2015 it has been necessary for EEA national applicants and their family members seeking to rely on having acquired a right of permanent residence to have obtained a Document Certifying Permanent Residence or a Permanent Residence Card as appropriate before applying for Naturalisation as a British Citizen.

We have internationally renowned expert immigration solicitors who can advise you on the options available for you and your family to live and work in the UK through your EU law rights. From the planning stage through to the to end, we are able to assist with the application and we help clients navigate the complex application process. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch for expert advice if you require assistance in understanding these requirements and if you would like to know more about how to apply.