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New Arrivals


EEA family members

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser please click here for information more relevant to you.

Who is a family member?

Where an EEA national has rights to reside, these rights usually extend to members of their family, even if the family members are not themselves EEA citizens. In addition former EEA family members may retain their family member rights even though the family relationship has ended.

Whether or not you qualify as a family member depends on the status of the person you are accompanying (e.g. worker, self-employed, student).

You are the family member of an EEA worker or self-employed person or a person who got their permanent right to reside through working if you are:

  • their husband or wife (i.e. married, not just partners)
  • their civil partner
  • a direct descendant (child, grandchild, etc) of that person or of their spouse or civil partner and either:
    • you are aged under 21; or
    • you are dependent on him/her or on their spouse or civil partner (for example, because of being disabled or studying)
  • a dependent direct relative in ascending line of that person or of their spouse or civil partner (i.e. a parent/grandparent)
  • an extended family member who has been issued with an EEA family permit; and you are:
    • a dependent family member not covered by the list above
    • a partner (not being a spouse or civil partner) in a 'durable relationship'
    • a relative who, for serious health reasons, is provided with personal care by that EEA national.

You will be the family member of an EEA student or self-sufficient EEA national or a person with the permanent right to reside who has never worked in the UK if you are:

  • their husband or wife
  • their civil partner
  • a dependent child.

You are dependent if you:

  • are living in the same household and sharing living expenses, or
  • need the financial support of the relative on whom you are dependent, or
  • need the physical care of the relative on whom you are dependent, or
  • some combination of these.

What documents might you be asked for?

If you are a family member and an EEA national yourself you may not have any documents other than your passport or ID cards, and you will also need some proof of the family relationship (birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate). You can apply for a residence card or permit as a family member if you wish, and these should be issued within six months of application.

Family members who are not themselves EEA nationals must apply for a residence permit within three months of arriving in the UK: the permit must be issued within six months of the application.

What are your rights to housing and benefits?

If you are a family member you will have the same rights as the EEA national you are accompanying: so, for example, if the person you are accompanying is a worker you will have the same rights as the EEA worker, or if you are accompanying a student you will have the same rights as the EEA student.

See also:

Chartered Institute of Housing

Background Topics

Chartered Institute of Housing  HACT - The housing action charity