What Are Rights of Children of EU Citizens to Enter the UK?
This article relates only to children of EU citizens or their spouses (or civil partners) who are not EU citizens themselves. Children of EU citizens who are EU citizens themselves can travel to the UK anytime without the need to apply for any documents. That is until 31 December 2019 or 30 June 2020, if there is ‘no deal’ exit.
Also, this article applied to all relatives in the descending line. This means that not only children may benefit but also grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
As a general rule, any visa national citizen will be required to apply for permission to enter and remain in the UK. The legal term for this permission is entry clearance. The most commonly used term is ‘visa’, which is the non-legal synonym of entry clearance.
If a child is from a non-visa national country, he or she (s/he) is not required to obtain prior permission if s/he does not intend to remain in the UK for longer than 6 months or to get married.
In case you do not know whether your country is a visa national or non-visa national country, you can check very easily.
The Home Office gives a list of all visa national countries in their Appendix V. It is called Appendix 2 ‘Visa National List’.
Completely Different Rules
What is important to understand is that the rules, which apply to children of EU citizens and their spouses (or civil partners) are completely different. These children will still need to apply for a confirmation of their right to enter the UK. This is done at the British Embassy (or British High Commission) or through the 3rd parties, which the Home Office employ. Such an official confirmation is called a ‘family permit’.
The Difference Between Family Permits and Visas
There is a crucial difference between the two. Family permits are the documents which merely confirm the right, which children of EU citizens already have. Visas (legally known as ‘entry clearance’) is the permission, which is expressly given by the UK immigration authorities to the children in question.
Who Qualifies for Family Permit
Any child of an EU citizen under the age of 21.
If the child is over the age of 21 they may still qualify. However, there is one key ingredient to success in these types of applications. It is called ‘dependency’.
A child over the age of 21 will need to prove their dependency on their EU national relative or their spouse (or civil partner) in order to succeed in their family permit application.
What Does ‘Dependent’ Mean?
Here is what the Home Office Guidance says:
’Dependent’ means that, as demonstrated by relevant financial, medical or other documentary evidence:
having regard to their financial and social conditions, or health, the applicant cannot meet their essential living needs (in whole or in part) without the financial or other material support of the relevant EEA citizen or of the spouse or civil partner
such support is being provided to the applicant by the relevant EEA citizen or by the spouse or civil partner
there is no need to determine the reasons for that dependence or for the recourse to that support’.
The last requirement is peculiar. It means that even if the child is 33 years old and has his own on children, but chooses NOT to work and be fully dependent on their EU national parent, s/he will still qualify.
It is also worth mentioning that dependency can be financial and physical. That is when the child over the age of 21 requires personal care and assistant of his/her parent.
How to Prove Dependancy
The child will prove dependency by providing the relevant documents together will his/her family permit application. These documents may include but not limited to:
- Child’s passport;
- The EU parent’s passport
- If the child is related to the spouse of the relevant EU citizen, then the relevant EU citizen and the child’s parent will need to produce a marriage certificate to confirm they are related;
- The child’s birth certificate confirming that s/he is related to either an EU citizen or their spouse;
- If the dependency is financial than the child will need to produce bank statements or money transfers confirming transfers from an EEA citizen parent or the spouse or civil partner.
- If this dependency is medically related than the child will need to produce medical reports (or similar documents from experts). These reports need to confirm that s/he needs and receives the personal care of the EEA citizen, or of their spouse or civil partner, on serious health grounds.
How Long Should This Financial Support Last For?
There are no defined rules. However, the reasonable period of time, which is generally accepted by the Home Office is at least 6 months. However the longer the better, of course.
Also, I strongly recommend that you take an extra mile explaining that the EU citizen’s financial support (if it exists) is necessary to meet the essential living needs of the child (in whole or in part).
How can you do it?
- Find a document confirming the average amount of income an adult needs to be able to survive. It is important. As the amount can dramatically differ from country to country. Living costs in Germany will be significantly higher than in Mexico. For this reason, you will need to establish a point of reference for the decision maker.
- Then you’ll need to draft a budget for the child to confirm his actual monthly costs.
- And finally, you need to prove that the level of support you provide is substantial (30%+).
If you take these steps, the application is very likely to be successful.