What happens with my family reunification rights post-Brexit?

If you have settled or pre-settled status, you will be able to be joined by certain EU or non-EU family members in the futureThis includes your spouse or registered partner(as long as they were already your spouse or registered partner at the end of the transition period, 31 Dec 2020), your or your spouse/partner’s direct descendants who are under the age of 21 or dependants, and your or your spouse/partner’s direct relatives in the ascending line (parents, grandparents etc).


If your family member is applying to join you from 1 July 2021 onwards then you must have your status granted before they can apply.


Article 10 of the Withdrawal Agreement has a list of eligible family members who can apply to join you in the UK. From 1 January 2021, family members who want to join you in the UK must apply to enter the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme. In many cases this will involve applying for an ‘EUSS family permit’ and then applying for pre-settled status once they have arrived in the UK. However, in some cases family members can apply directly for pre-settled status or settled status before they travel to the UK. More information on family permits can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/family-permit/eu-settlement-scheme-family-permit


When they join you in the UK, they will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within three months of arrival.


Also note that unmarried partners need to show that they have been in a relationship akin to marriage for at least 2 years. These cases can become complex and the help of a legal adviser is recommended.


Note: if you are hoping to make use of your family reunification rights in the future, and you are thinking about applying for British citizenship, then you may wish to seek legal advice if you have gaps in your past where you should have had, but didn’t have, Comprehensive Sickness Insurance. Unfortunately there are some complex circumstances in the Immigration Rules in which naturalising as a British citizen may result in the loss of family reunification rights.

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