Form VAF4A – Application for Family Members of European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals to Join Them in the UK

1. What is Form VAF4A and who is it for?

Form VAF4A is an application form used for individuals who are family members of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals seeking to join them in the United Kingdom. The EEA includes countries within the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. This form is specifically designed for individuals who are not European nationals themselves but wish to reside in the UK with their EEA family member. The application allows for family reunification under the EEA regulations and requires detailed information about the applicant’s relationship to the EEA national and the reasons for wanting to join them in the UK. It is essential for applicants to provide all necessary documentation and information to support their application and meet the requirements set out by the UK Home Office.

2. What are the eligibility criteria for family members applying under Form VAF4A?

Family members applying under Form VAF4A to join an EEA national in the UK must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria include:

1. Relationship: The applicant must be the family member of an EEA national who is exercising their treaty rights in the UK, either as a worker, self-employed person, student, or self-sufficient person.

2. Dependency: The family member must be dependent on the EEA national or be a member of their household.

3. Accompanying or joining: The family member must be accompanying the EEA national to the UK or joining them there.

4. Genuine relationship: There must be evidence of a genuine and subsisting relationship between the EEA national and the family member.

5. Valid passport: The family member must hold a valid passport.

Meeting these eligibility criteria is crucial for a successful application under Form VAF4A. It is essential to provide supporting documents and evidence to demonstrate that all requirements are met.

3. What documents are required to support a VAF4A application?

When submitting a VAF4A application to join an EEA national in the UK as a family member, it is crucial to include the following supporting documents:

1. Passport: A valid passport for each family member applying.

2. Relationship Evidence: Documents proving the relationship with the EEA national, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, or civil partnership certificates.

3. EEA National’s Confirmation of Employment or Study: Evidence of the EEA national’s employment, self-employment, or study status in the UK.

4. Accommodation Details: Proof of suitable accommodation in the UK for the family members, which can be in the form of a tenancy agreement or property ownership document.

5. Travel Insurance: Evidence of comprehensive travel insurance for each family member applying.

6. Financial Proof: Bank statements or other financial documents demonstrating that the family members can financially support themselves during their stay in the UK.

7. Completed VAF4A Form: The completed and signed VAF4A application form for each family member applying.

4. Can a non-EEA family member apply for a residence card using Form VAF4A?

Yes, a non-EEA family member can apply for a residence card using Form VAF4A. This form is specifically designed for family members of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals who wish to join them in the UK. In order to apply for a residence card, the non-EEA family member must be the spouse or civil partner of an EEA national, or a dependent child or dependent parent of an EEA national. The residence card serves as evidence of the right to reside in the UK under European law. It is important to fill out the Form VAF4A accurately and provide all the necessary supporting documents to support the application. The EEA national sponsor must also meet certain requirements in terms of employment or self-employment in the UK. Upon successful application, the non-EEA family member will receive a residence card which allows them to live and work in the UK.

5. How long does it take to process a VAF4A application?

The processing time for a VAF4A application can vary depending on various factors, including the complexity of the case, the documents provided, and the current caseload at the UK Visas and Immigration office. Generally, EEA family permit applications are processed quite quickly compared to other types of visa applications. In many cases, a decision is made within a few weeks, usually within 15 working days. However, some applications may take longer if further documents or information are required. It is important to ensure that all of the necessary documents are included with the application to help expedite the process. Additionally, providing clear and concise information can also help in speeding up the processing time.

6. Is there a fee for submitting a VAF4A application?

Yes, there is a fee for submitting a VAF4A application. The current fee for this application varies depending on the type of family member applying and their circumstances. As of my last knowledge, the fee for a VAF4A application was £65 per person for a family permit and £1,033 per person for a residence card if applying from outside the UK. It is important to check the latest fee information on the official UK government website before submitting your application, as fees can change periodically. Additionally, it is recommended to pay the fee through the prescribed methods outlined by the Home Office to ensure your application is processed smoothly.

7. Can a family member apply under VAF4A if the EEA national is a student in the UK?

1. Yes, a family member can apply under Form VAF4A if the EEA national is a student in the UK. As a family member of an EEA national who is a student, you may be eligible to join them in the UK under the EEA regulations. The EEA national must either be a qualified person, for example, a student who is enrolled in a course of study in the UK, or have a right of residence in the UK under the EEA regulations.

2. To apply under Form VAF4A as a family member of an EEA national student, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship to the EEA national. This may include a marriage certificate, civil partnership certificate, birth certificate, or other relevant documentation. You will also need to provide evidence of the EEA national’s student status in the UK, such as a valid student visa or enrollment letter from a recognized educational institution.

3. It is important to note that the EEA national must have sufficient resources to support you and any other dependent family members while you are in the UK. In some cases, you may be required to show that you have comprehensive sickness insurance coverage for the duration of your stay in the UK.

4. If you are unsure about your eligibility or the application process under Form VAF4A as a family member of an EEA national student, it is recommended to seek legal advice or consult with an immigration specialist to ensure that you provide the correct documentation and meet all the necessary requirements for the application.

8. What are the rights of family members granted residence under Form VAF4A?

Family members granted residence under Form VAF4A, as per the rights granted to them under European Economic Area (EEA) regulations, are entitled to various rights and privileges while residing in the UK with their EEA national family member. Some of the rights include:

1. The right to reside and work in the UK without the need for additional visas or work permits.
2. The right to access healthcare services through the National Health Service (NHS).
3. The right to enroll in education and access public education services.
4. The right to join their EEA national family member in the UK for an extended period of time.
5. The right to bring children under the age of 21 to join them as dependents.

It is important for family members granted residence under Form VAF4A to familiarize themselves with their specific rights and entitlements under UK and EEA regulations to ensure they are aware of their privileges and responsibilities during their stay in the country.

9. Can a family member work in the UK while their VAF4A application is being processed?

1. Yes, a family member of a European Economic Area (EEA) national can work in the UK while their VAF4A application is being processed under certain conditions.
2. If the family member is a national of a country that is not part of the European Union or European Economic Area, they must obtain an EEA family permit before entering the UK to join their EEA national family member.
3. Once in the UK, the family member can apply for a registration certificate if they are a family member of an EEA national who is exercising their treaty rights in the UK.
4. With a registration certificate, the family member can work in the UK while their VAF4A application is being processed.
5. It is important to note that the family member must meet all the eligibility criteria and requirements for working in the UK, including obtaining a National Insurance number if required.
6. Working without the necessary permissions or documentation can lead to legal consequences and may impact the outcome of the VAF4A application.
7. Therefore, it is advisable for the family member to ensure they have the right to work in the UK before starting employment while their VAF4A application is pending.
8. Seeking guidance from an immigration professional or legal advisor can help clarify the specific rules and regulations regarding working in the UK during the processing of a VAF4A application.
9. Overall, while it is possible for a family member to work in the UK during the VAF4A application process, it is essential to adhere to all relevant immigration laws and regulations to avoid any complications or issues.

10. Can a family member apply for British citizenship after obtaining permanent residence under VAF4A?

Yes, a family member who has obtained permanent residence under VAF4A may be eligible to apply for British citizenship. In order to apply for British citizenship, the individual must have held Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent residence) for a certain period of time, typically one year. They must also meet additional requirements such as passing the Life in the UK test, demonstrating a good knowledge of English, and showing that they have not breached any immigration laws during their time in the UK. Once these requirements are met, the individual can submit an application for British citizenship, which will involve further scrutiny and assessment by the Home Office before a decision is made.

11. What is the difference between a residence card and a permanent residence card?

A residence card is issued to non-EEA family members of an EEA national who are exercising their treaty rights in the UK, typically for a period of up to 5 years. It serves as evidence of the right to live and work in the UK as a family member of an EEA national. On the other hand, a permanent residence card is issued to family members who have lived in the UK with the EEA national for a continuous period of 5 years or more, and have been exercising treaty rights throughout that time. It confirms the holder’s permanent right to live in the UK and may lead to British citizenship in the future. It is important to note that both cards have different requirements and implications regarding the individual’s status and rights in the UK.

12. What should a family member do if their VAF4A application is refused?

If a family member’s VAF4A application is refused, there are several steps they can take:

1. Review the refusal letter: The first step is to carefully read the refusal letter to understand the reasons for the refusal. This will help in identifying the specific grounds on which the application was rejected.

2. Seek Legal Advice: It is advisable to seek legal advice from an immigration lawyer who specializes in EEA applications. They can provide guidance on the best course of action to take.

3. Appeal the Decision: If the refusal was unjust or incorrect, the family member may have the option to appeal the decision. This usually involves submitting an appeal to the First-tier Tribunal within a specified timeframe.

4. Reapply: In some cases, it may be possible to address the reasons for refusal and reapply for the visa. It is important to ensure that any issues highlighted in the previous application are adequately addressed in the new application.

5. Consider other options: If the appeal is unsuccessful, the family member may explore alternative immigration routes or seek advice on other options available to them.

Overall, dealing with a visa refusal can be a challenging and stressful process, but it is essential to approach the situation methodically and seek professional assistance to navigate the appeals process effectively.

13. Can a family member apply for VAF4A if the EEA national is a jobseeker in the UK?

Yes, a family member can apply for the VAF4A if the EEA national is a jobseeker in the UK. However, certain conditions must be met for the application to be successful:

1. The EEA national must be a qualified jobseeker under EU law, meaning they are actively seeking employment and have a genuine chance of being employed.
2. The family member applying for the VAF4A must be the spouse, civil partner, child, grandchild, or dependent parent or grandparent of the EEA national.
3. The family member must provide evidence of their relationship to the EEA national, such as marriage certificates, birth certificates, or other relevant documents.
4. The family member must also demonstrate that they are financially dependent on the EEA national or that they require their care due to health reasons.

If these conditions are met, the family member can apply for the VAF4A to join the EEA national in the UK, even if the EEA national is a jobseeker.

14. Can a family member apply for VAF4A if the EEA national is self-employed in the UK?

Yes, a family member can apply for a VAF4A if the EEA national is self-employed in the UK. In such cases, the family member would typically need to provide evidence of the EEA national’s self-employment status, such as business registration documents, tax returns, bank statements, or contracts with clients. It is important for the family member to demonstrate their relationship to the EEA national and that they are dependent on or accompanying them to the UK. Additionally, they would need to meet the eligibility criteria and provide all required documentation as outlined in the VAF4A application form. It is advisable to seek guidance from a legal expert specializing in immigration law to ensure a successful application process.

15. Can a family member apply for VAF4A if the EEA national is a retired person in the UK?

Yes, a family member can apply for a VAF4A visa if the EEA national is a retired person in the UK. When an EEA national is retired in the UK, they are exercising their treaty rights under the freedom of movement provisions. As a result, their family members, including spouse/civil partner, children under 21, and dependent parents or grandparents, are eligible to apply for a residence card or visa under the EEA Regulations. The family member will need to demonstrate their relationship to the EEA national and provide evidence of dependency if applicable. Additionally, they must show that the EEA national sponsor has sufficient resources and comprehensive sickness insurance to support them in the UK. The application process will require the completion of the VAF4A form and submission of supporting documents to prove eligibility.

16. Can a family member apply for VAF4A if the EEA national is a frontier worker in the UK?

Yes, a family member can apply for a VAF4A form to join an EEA national who is a frontier worker in the UK. A frontier worker is someone who is employed or self-employed in one EEA state but lives in another and commutes between the two at least once a week. In this situation, the family member can apply for a family permit under the EEA regulations, which allows them to join the frontier worker in the UK. The family member would need to provide evidence of their relationship to the EEA national frontier worker, such as a marriage certificate or birth certificate, along with proof of the EEA national’s status as a frontier worker, such as employment contracts or proof of self-employment. The family member may also need to demonstrate that they are dependent on the EEA national frontier worker for support.

17. Can a family member apply for VAF4A if the EEA national is a family member of a British citizen exercising EU treaty rights in the UK?

1. Yes, a family member of an EEA national who is also a family member of a British citizen exercising EU treaty rights in the UK can apply for a VAF4A visa. This is possible under the Surinder Singh route, named after the case law that established this right.
2. To apply under the Surinder Singh route, the EEA national must have exercised their treaty rights in another EEA member state before returning to the UK with their British family member. This can include working, studying, being self-employed, or self-sufficient in another EEA country.
3. The British citizen family member must also have resided in another EEA member state with the EEA national exercising treaty rights for a period of time. Once these conditions are met, the family member can apply for a VAF4A visa to join their EEA national sponsor in the UK.
4. It’s important to carefully follow the guidelines and requirements set out by the Home Office when applying under the Surinder Singh route to ensure a smooth application process.

18. Can a family member apply for VAF4A if the EEA national is a family member of a Swiss national exercising EU treaty rights in the UK?

Yes, a family member can apply for a VAF4A if the EEA national is a family member of a Swiss national exercising EU treaty rights in the UK. According to the European Economic Area (EEA) regulations, family members of EEA nationals and Swiss nationals exercising their rights under the EU treaty are eligible to apply for a family permit to join their family member in the UK. It is important for the applicant to meet the specific criteria outlined in the VAF4A application form, which includes proving the relationship with the EEA or Swiss national, providing evidence of dependency or marital status, and demonstrating that the EEA or Swiss national is exercising their treaty rights in the UK. Family members such as spouses, civil partners, children, grandchildren, dependent parents, and grandparents may be eligible to apply under this category.

19. Are there any exceptions to the eligibility requirements for family members applying under VAF4A?

Yes, there are exceptions to the eligibility requirements for family members applying under VAF4A. Some of the key exceptions include:

1. Surinder Singh Route: If the EEA national in the UK has exercised their Treaty rights in another EEA country before returning to the UK, their family members may be eligible to apply under the Surinder Singh route rather than through the standard VAF4A process.

2. EEA Permanent Residence: Family members of EEA nationals who have acquired permanent residence in the UK may have different eligibility requirements compared to those who do not yet have permanent residence status.

3. Extended Family Members: Certain extended family members, such as unmarried partners and dependent relatives, may be eligible to apply under VAF4A with different criteria and documentation requirements.

It is important to carefully review the specific eligibility criteria and any applicable exceptions outlined in the VAF4A guidance provided by the Home Office before submitting an application to join an EEA national family member in the UK.

20. Can a family member appeal a decision on their VAF4A application?

Yes, a family member whose application for a Family Permit under Form VAF4A has been refused can appeal against the decision. The applicant will generally have the right to appeal if they believe that the decision was incorrect or unfair. In the appeal process, they can submit additional evidence and present their case to an independent tribunal. The appeal must be lodged within a specific time frame, usually within 28 days of receiving the decision. The appeal process provides the applicant with an opportunity to challenge the refusal and have their case reviewed by a different authority. It is important to carefully follow the guidance provided on how to appeal and ensure all necessary documentation is submitted to support the appeal effectively.