Spouses, civil partners, children aged under 21, dependent children aged over 21 and dependent parents or grandparents of EEA nationals (or of the EEA national’s spouse/civil partner) can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as family members of EU nationals. If granted, they will have the same rights as EU nationals. If you are separated but not divorced from your EU national spouse, you are still counted as a family member and can apply.

Other relatives of EU nationals and unmarried partners can also apply for the right of residence. These people are called extended family members and need evidence to show their relationship to the EU national. Unmarried partners need to convince the Home Office they are in a durable relationship with the EU national. Relatives must show either that they are dependent on the EU national, or that on serious health grounds they strictly require personal care from the EU national or that they were a member of the EU national’s household in their home country.

In some circumstances British nationals can be treated as EEA nationals where the British citizen and their non-EEA national partner have exercised treaty rights in an EEA national country, then want to live together in the UK. These are called “Surinder Singh” cases. The Home Office will want to see evidence of genuine residence in the EEA country and the reasons for that residence. The longer the couple lived together in the EEA national country, the more likely it is that the application will be successful.

If you do not meet the definition of a family member or extended family member, you may still have rights under European law, for instance if you look after your children who are European nationals living in the UK.

Derivative rights are used by people who do not qualify for a right of residence under the Free Movement Directive 2004/38/EC but might qualify for another right of residence under EU law.

There are a number of ways to claim a derivative right of residence:

  • Zambrano rights: A person can apply for residence if he/she is the primary carer of a British citizen child or dependent adult, where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would force that British citizen to leave the European Economic Area (EEA).
  • Chen rights: A person can apply if he/she is the primary carer of an EEA national child who is exercising free movement rights in the UK as a self-sufficient person, where requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would prevent the EEA national child exercising those free movement rights. You would need to provide financial evidence that the child is self-sufficient.
  • Ibrahim and Teixeira rights: A person can apply if he/she is the primary carer of a child of an EEA national worker or former worker. The child and the EEA national parent must have both been in the UK at the same time at some point since the child’s birth. The child must be in education (not including nursery education) in the UK. You must show that requiring the primary carer to leave the UK would prevent the child from continuing their education in the UK.

For any of the categories above, where the adult applying has another dependent child who does not have a right of residence of their own, that child can also apply for a derivative right of residence. The child must show that requiring the child to leave the UK would force the primary carer to leave the UK with them.

A person who is claiming a derivative right of residence in any category above cannot apply using the App. You need to use an online contact form to request a paper application form from the EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre. When you get to the free text box where you are invited to type your question explain which application you want to make and why you think you are eligible to apply. You will need to provide your name and email address. You should then be sent a paper form to complete. This will be issued in your own name. You will need to provide evidence that you are the primary carer and that your child is either British, or an EEA national or the child of an EEA national worker/former worker. You will also need to provide evidence that your child is in education in the UK.

Any non-EU national applying to the EU Settlement Scheme is normally required to attend a scanning centre for biometric enrolment. All these scanning centres are currently closed. The Home Office has indicated that applications lodged now will be held until such time as the scanning centres can re-open. It is therefore worth submitting your application but be aware there is likely to be a delay in a decision being made.