What is the process for traveling to the UK as a spouse of an EU citizen?

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By Kristy Tolley

Traveling to the UK as an EU spouse

If you are the spouse of an EU citizen and would like to travel to the United Kingdom (UK) with them, there are specific requirements and procedures that you must follow. As an EU spouse, you may be eligible for a Family Permit, which allows you to enter and stay in the UK for up to six months. However, to obtain this permit, you need to provide evidence of your relationship with your EU spouse and prove that they are exercising their treaty rights in the UK.

Determine your eligibility as an EU spouse

To be eligible for a Family Permit, you must be the spouse of an EU citizen who is exercising their treaty rights in the UK. This means that your EU spouse is working, studying, or self-employed in the UK. You may also be eligible if your EU spouse is a qualified person, such as a retired person or a job seeker, who has been exercising their treaty rights in the UK for at least three months.

Obtain documentation to prove your relationship

To prove your relationship with your EU spouse, you will need to provide documentation such as a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, or other evidence of a durable relationship. You may also need to provide evidence of your EU spouse’s nationality, such as a passport or national identity card.

Apply for a Family Permit to enter the UK

To apply for a Family Permit, you will need to complete an online application form and pay a fee. You will also need to provide evidence of your relationship and your EU spouse’s status. The processing time for a Family Permit application is usually around two to three weeks.

Provide evidence of your EU spouse’s status

Along with your Family Permit application, you will need to provide evidence that your EU spouse is exercising their treaty rights in the UK. This may include documents such as employment contracts, payslips, or evidence of self-employment.

Prepare for the immigration interview

If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend an immigration interview. You should prepare for this interview by reviewing your application and ensuring that you can answer questions about your relationship and your EU spouse’s status.

Attend the immigration interview

At the immigration interview, you will be asked questions about your relationship and your EU spouse’s status. You may also need to provide additional documentation to support your application.

Wait for a decision on your application

After the interview, you will need to wait for a decision on your application. If your application is successful, you will be issued with a Family Permit, which allows you to enter and stay in the UK for up to six months.

Apply for a residence card if approved

If you plan to stay in the UK for longer than six months, you will need to apply for a residence card. This card confirms your right to live and work in the UK as the spouse of an EU citizen.

Understand your rights as an EU spouse in the UK

As an EU spouse, you have the right to live and work in the UK as long as your EU spouse is exercising their treaty rights. You also have the right to access healthcare and education in the UK.

Renew your residence card if necessary

Your residence card is valid for five years. If you plan to stay in the UK for longer than five years, you will need to apply for a new residence card before your current one expires.

If you encounter any problems during the application process or while living in the UK, you should seek legal advice from a qualified professional. They can provide guidance and support to help you navigate the complex immigration system.

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Kristy Tolley

Kristy Tolley, an accomplished editor at TravelAsker, boasts a rich background in travel content creation. Before TravelAsker, she led editorial efforts at Red Ventures Puerto Rico, shaping content for Platea English. Kristy's extensive two-decade career spans writing and editing travel topics, from destinations to road trips. Her passion for travel and storytelling inspire readers to embark on their own journeys.

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