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Family members of EEA/EU Students
If you are an EEA/EU or Swiss national who is eligible for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme, your family members may also be eligible to apply for a status. This page covers the key questions about this and how to access further advice. If you are not eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme and have or are applying for a Student visa, you should see the information for Student Dependants instead.
Who is considered a 'family member'?
Both EU/EEA citizens and non-EEA citizens who are:
- Spouse, civil partner, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren
- Parents (or grandparents or great-grandparents) who are dependent on you. These can be your relatives or your spouse/civil partner's relatives. There are rules as to what constitutes dependence.
In some circumstances the following are also considered family members, but the rules for these groups are quite restrictive:
- Unmarried partner - they must have lived with you in a committed relationship for at least 2 years.
- Other relatives who are fully dependent on you.
Can my family member qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme in their own right?
If your family member was resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and has not left the UK for more than 6 months since then they should qualify for the EU Settlement Scheme in their own right. This includes non-EEA family members of an EU/EEA or Swiss citizen as long as they were here with you legally. They need to submit their application for Pre-settled or Settled status by 30 June 2021. If they do not apply before that date, they will not be able to apply for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme. We recommend that you seek advice from International Student Support on preparing your family member's application as eligibility and documents vary depending on your individual circumstances.
My family member is joining me in the UK on or after 1 January 2021. Can they do this?
Your family member can apply to join you in the UK as long as:
- You were resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 and have not left for more than 6 months; and
- You have been granted or have submitted an application for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme; and
- Your relationship with your family member began before 31 December 2020 (except in the case of children born or adopted after 31 December 2020) and continues now.
They must apply from outside the UK, they cannot enter the UK as a Visitor and then apply to switch to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you have not done so already, we recommend that you apply for your status under the EU Settlement Scheme first as it will make your family member's application easier. Remember that you must apply for your status under the EU Settlement Sceme by 30 June 2021. If you do not do this, neither you nor your family member will qualify for a status and you will both need visas instead.
What documents will my family member need?
Your family member will need the following documents to apply to join you in the UK:
- Passport or European national ID card.
- Evidence of relationship with you (e.g. marriage certificate, birth or adoption certificate).
- Your EU Settlement Scheme reference number. If you do not have a status or application under the EU Settlement Scheme yet, your family member will need to provide evidence of your eligibility for the scheme. We strongly recommend that you apply for your status first so that they do not have to do this.
If your family member is a non-EEA national, they will need additional documents, please contact International Student Support for advice.
How does my family member submit their application?
Identity checks: The first stage of the application is identity checks completed using the EU Exit app on an Android or Apple device. Their passport details will be checked and the chip in their passport will be read. It will also take a scan and photo of their face.
Application form: The second stage is a short application form completed via a web browser. The application form (and detailed process) is available here: Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
Documents: In most cases, they will not need to send any original documents to the Home Office. They will upload scans of their supporting documents (see above section for advice on the documents to prepare) at the end of their application form.
How we can help: The application process is free and fairly straightforward but if you or your family members get stuck at any point, please contact International Sudent Support and we will help.
The specialist immigration advisers in International Student Support are here to help with any questions University of Exeter students and their eligible family members have about the EU Settlement Scheme to the best of our ability. We recommend booking into a Digital Drop-in for a short 1:1 appointment in the first instance, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.