New employee, non-EEA/Swiss family member of an EEA national

Mark is a Canadian citizen who’s in a civil partnership with Jan, an Austrian citizen. Mark moved to the UK with Jan in November 2020, on an EEA family permit (see Definitions), and started work at the University in December 2020 as a grade 7 research fellow.

What does Mark need to consider?

Mark’s EEA family permit will be valid until May 2021.

He and Jan are resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and they’re both therefore eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline to apply is 30 June 2021, although Mark will need to apply before his EEA family permit expires. It’s free to apply.

Mark will be granted pre-settled status, having been in the UK for less than 5 years.

What do we need to consider?

Mark can start work on the basis of his EEA family permit.

Once he has pre-settled status, he’ll need to provide us with a share code from his online portal so we can check his right to work continues.

What if…

...Mark needs to leave the UK for an extended period?

Mark can leave the UK and re-enter on his EEA family permit for as long as it’s valid.

Once he’s granted pre-settled status, he can leave the UK for up to 2 years without losing the status.

However, if he leaves for more than 6 months at a time before he’s built up 5 years to be able to apply for settled status, he’ll lose that time and will have to start again. As long as Jan has been granted status under the EU Settlement Scheme, Mark should be able to re-apply.

...Mark and Jan’s relationship breaks down?

Once Mark has applied for pre-settled status, he’ll be able to stay in the UK and retain that as, once granted, it’s not dependent on Jan’s status in the UK. If the relationship starts to break down before Mark has applied, he would need to very quickly submit his application. If he didn't, and wasn't able to secure another way to be able to stay in the UK, he'd have to leave.

Relevant rules

EEA family permit 

This permit allows a non EEA/Swiss 'close' or 'extended' family member (see Definitions) of an EEA/Swiss national to accompany them to the UK without needing a Points-Based System visa. Applications must be made outside the UK and the applicant can come to the UK with their EEA/Swiss family, or join them afterwards. It's valid for 6 months, to allow them entry into the UK and time to apply for further permission to stay.

EU Settlement Scheme for EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members

Most EEA/Swiss nationals who live in the UK by the end of 2020, and their family members who are here with permission which is based on their relationship to the EEA/Swiss national, must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021.

Family members are also able to join EEA/Swiss nationals after the end of 2020 as long as the relationship began before 31 December 2020 and is ongoing when the family member applies (note: for Swiss nationals, a relationship with a spouse/civil partner can have started at any time up to 31 December 2025, and must be ongoing when the family member applies).

Right to work

EEA/Swiss nationals who are resident in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 can prove their right to work in the UK with their passport or national ID card - this will not change until 1 July 2021, at which point all new EEA/Swiss staff must have evidence of either a visa or pre-settled/settled status under the EU settlement scheme. To support the University in its responsibility to help prevent illegal working, we have added questions to our right to work compliance statement for January-June 2021 which should allow us to establish what kind of right to work evidence is needed.

We do not need to retrospectively check right to work for existing staff.