The European Economic Area Family Member (EEA FM) application form is for relatives of qualifying EEA nationals who wish to apply for a registration certificate as an EEA national or a residence card if a non-EEA national.
A qualifying EEA national is a person who is or was in the UK working, seeking employment or studying, or has permanent right of residence in the UK under EEA regulations.
You will need to either be the:
- spouse or civil partner,
- child or grandchild under the age of 21, or
- dependent parent/grandparent
of the EEA national to use form EEA FM.
Extended family members should look at applying using form EEA EFM. These include:
- partners who are neither married to nor civil partners of the EEA national, but are in a ‘durable relationship’ or
- other relations such as aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins or siblings of the relevant EEA national.
It is best to seek legal advice to ensure that you are eligible prior to applying on the EEA FM form.
Form EEA FM is not mandatory for your application, but the document does help to ensure you provide the correct information when you apply. Supporting documentation is however still required if you choose not to use the form, and the relevant application fee must also still be paid.
It is important to ensure that all the correct supporting documentation is enclosed with your application, or it will be returned to you along with the fee, less a £25 administration charge. The cost of an application is £65, plus £65 for any additional family members.
All documentation must be in its original format.
Any documentation that is not submitted in English or Welsh must be translated by a registered translator with an official signature and date of translation. You are also required to supply the details of the translation firm used and the individual who has stated that this is a true and accurate translation of the original document.
If your bank statements are received electronically, you will need the bank to put an official stamp on any printouts to authenticate them.
You are required to submit biometric evidence with your application, as well as two passport-sized photographs of the main and any subsequent applicants, with names written on the back of the photo, as well as one passport-sized photograph of the sponsor with their name written on the back.
It is necessary to provide proof of identity and nationality through either a valid passport, travel document or national identity card, if you are an EEA national for each family member included on the form. The sponsor will need to provide a valid passport or national identity card.
If you are the spouse or partner of the EEA national, you will need to provide verification that you have been cohabiting. You will need to provide at least six different pieces of evidence, such as bills in both names, bank statements, HMRC documentation, DVLA licence, and photographs of you and your sponsor together at events such as family gatherings, weddings and holidays.
If you do not have any utility bills or other evidence in joint names at the address you are both residing in, there are other items that you may submit as evidence. Take advice on your circumstances.
In the case of children, the sponsor or applicant will need to provide evidence that they have parental responsibility with either a birth certificate or adoption certificate, or some form of parental order.
You will need to provide evidence that your sponsor was an EEA national with a permanent right of residence or a qualified person at the relevant date.
For dependent family members, it is necessary to provide evidence of their financial dependency. This could be done through bank statements or bill payments.
Common issues with EEA FM
Prior to your application process being completed, your circumstances may change. You may have separated/divorced your sponsor, or the sponsor may have died. You may still apply using the EEA FM form providing you meet certain conditions and can prove you have retained the right of residence in the UK for at least 12 months prior to your application.
In the instance of divorce or separation, you must also provide proof that you were legally married or were in a civil partnership for at least three years prior to the separation.
The death of or separation from a sponsor may make it difficult for you to obtain all necessary documentation to prove their status at the relevant date, in which case, seek professional advice.
Where children are concerned, it is essential to provide evidence that the child is in full time education if their sponsor has either died or left the country prior to application. If you are the parent with custody of the child, then evidence of your parental rights and proof that you are living with the child will be required.
What happens next?
Once the EEA FM form has been submitted with all relevant documentation and the correct fee paid, the Home Office will consider your application. A decision can take up to 6 months upon receipt of application.
If your application is refused by the Home Office, take advice on your circumstances and if there may be grounds for appeal.
Once the EEA resident card has been granted, you will be a legal resident of the UK able to work and live in the UK usually for a period up to five years. You may wish to then apply for permanent residency.
If you are an EEA national and applying for a Registration Certificate, once granted, this Certificate will provide proof that you are entitled to live and work in the UK, under European Law.
DavidsonMorris can help with your EEA FM application
DavidsonMorris are experienced in all aspects of Home Office EEA applications including the EEA FM form. If you have any queries or require guidance, contact our immigration specialists.