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EU and EEA Nationals and Families

“Our case was very long and complicated, but here we are today with a totally different situation thanks to the help and support of Garden Court Chambers. We feel a sense of life again and look forward to building a life for our family.”

Immigration client

“Garden Court Chambers houses an unsurpassable team of barristers who handle the full range of immigration matters."

Chambers UK Bar Guide

To contact the Immigration Clerks, please email or phone

+44 (0)20 7993 7600

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EU Member State nationals, as well as nationals of the EEA States (Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) still enjoy much stronger rights than other people who come to the UK. So do their family members, who can include unmarried partners and dependent relatives beyond spouses and children. 

We can provide expert advice on the requirements of the EEA Regulations, assess your prospects of qualifying for an EEA residence document, and help you prepare an EEA residency application that is structured in the best way possible to support an appeal if refused. We have unrivalled experience in taking cases to the First-tier Tribunal and Upper Tribunal in order to challenge unjust decisions against our clients or have decisions overturned.

Our immigration barristers are the leading experts in the UK on EU and EEA immigration law and we continually monitor and assess the impact of Brexit for our clients. 

About eea family permits

You can apply for an EEA Family Permit to gain entry to the UK if you’re a close or extended family member of an EEA or Swiss national. You may also be able to apply with a ‘derivative right of residence’, as the carer of someone who has the right to be in the UK, the carer’s child, or the child of an EEA national who previously worked in the UK. 

You may be able to make an application after living in another EEA country with a British family member. Or you may have ‘retained right of residence’ to stay in the UK as the family member of an EEA national who has died, left the UK or is no longer your spouse or civil partner. An EEA Family Permit is valid for six months.


about eea family residence cards

After holding an EEA Family Permit for six months, non-EU family members of an EEA national can apply for the EEA Family Residence card. This allows the holder to live and work in the UK without restriction. It must be shown in the application that the EEA national is exercising their EU Treaty rights by being either employed, self-employed, a student, or economically self-sufficient.


about eea permanent residence cards

Non-EEA national family members and extended family members of EEA nationals who have lived in the United Kingdom for five years can apply for an EEA Permanent Residence Card. This confirms a right of permanent residence in the UK. It must be shown that the applicant has exercised their EU Treaty rights for a continuous period of five years by being either employed, self-employed, a student, or economically self-sufficient.

Since the Brexit vote in 2016, and the ensuing uncertainty over immigration, many EEA citizens living in the UK have moved to secure their residence in the UK by applying for an EEA Permanent Residence Card.


appealing against refusal to grant eea family permit or residence card

If your application has been refused, it is important that you act quickly, as appeals must be lodged within a matter of days, or you may have to start a new application. The Immigration team at Garden Court Chambers has unrivalled expertise in challenging decisions by UK Visas and Immigration (part of the Home Office), and deep understanding of the appeals process. We will examine the reasons for refusal and advise you on the best course of action.

If a resubmission of the application is not advised, we can assist you with lodging an appeal with the First-tier Tribunal. EEA Family Permits may be reviewed by an Entry Clearance Manager (ECM), which can often result in the initial decision being overturned and the permit being approved. 

If your appeal is dismissed at the First-tier Tribunal and we believe the decision contains an error of law, we can help you to submit an appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Immigration and Asylum Chamber). As the pre-eminent set of barristers in the UK for immigration advice, our experience of handling cases in the Upper Tribunal is second to none.


eu settlement scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme is a way of ensuring that EU nationals who lived in the UK during Brexit do not have to leave the United Kingdom. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their families can apply to the scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If successful, applicants will gain settled or pre-settled status.

- Settled status
This allows permanent residency in the UK, with the ability to work, study, use the NHS, access benefits and pensions and travel in and out of the country.

- Pre-settled status
Those EU nationals who have not built up five years residency in the UK can apply for pre-settled status. Once they have built up five years residency, they can apply for Settled Status.

We can swiftly take care of applications to the EU Settlement Scheme, providing advice on the best time to apply, and the requirements to qualify. Many people have a choice as to how to settle in the UK: via the Settlement Scheme, or by applying for permanent residence under the EEA Regulations, or by an application under the domestic Immigration Rules. We can also advise you on the pros and cons of each option.


why choose garden court?

Garden Court’s Immigration Team is recognised as the pre-eminent set of barristers in the UK for immigration law advice. We are the only set of barristers awarded the highest ‘Band 1’ status for immigration law advice by the independent Chambers Bar Guide rankings. You can be assured your case will be handled with unrivalled levels of expertise.

We know the immigration system from end to end, and have seen every kind of problem. Our barristers have appeared in many of the cases that have shaped immigration law in the UK. We understand the way that government decision-makers and judges think, and are thus very well placed to advise on how best to present a case from the earliest stages. All of the leading guides for immigration lawyers have been written by members of our immigration law team. 

If your case is really important to you, then you may well want to instruct a senior barrister who is well known in the immigration Tribunal system and has very extensive legal experience. You may alternatively prefer to instruct a ‘junior’, who will still be experienced and knowledgeable, but can handle cases more cost-effectively. We have a barrister to suit every situation, backed up by a sophisticated support team that helps you every step of the way.



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