EEA Family Permit can Lead to Domestic Frustration
The UK’s administration of the EEA Family Permit has attracted a certain amount of negative coverage in recent years. There has been considerable criticism of the way that UK border agencies have routinely flouted the procedures laid down in European law, with the result that families who are entitled to live together in the UK have been denied that right, or had their applications made unnecessarily complex.
The visa is designed to enable married couples and established partners (or dependants) to live together as a family unit. The fundamental requirement is that one of the partners is eligible to live in the UK as an accredited citizen of the European Economic Area (and Switzerland) – the family permit hinges on that right of residence.
Whilst the legality of the permit itself was subject to high profile legal argument as recently as 2014, the UK’s administration of the regime has itself been criticised, with border officials reported to have overreached their brief and denied family members access to the UK on grounds that fall outside the terms of the family permit. In the process families have been forced to undertake expensive appeals which themselves fall foul of European law.
The defining case, which effectively clarified the status of non-EU family members of Union citizens, involved the family of Sean McCarthy, an Irish and British citizen who was (and is) married to a Colombian citizen. The McCarthy’s lived in Spain but were obliged to apply for an EEA family permit every time they attempted to visit the UK – something they objected to. The case was subject to scrutiny at UK and European level before the case was settled in the McCarthy’s favour.
Applicants should be aware that the processing time for EEA Family Permits routinely takes as long as 30 days – something which in and of itself has been a source of frustration for many applicants.
YDVISAS specialise in all visa categories and are specialist immigration lawyers in the UK. Please contact the expert team at YDVISAS, should you need any professional help with your visa application.