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EEA Permit Applications and Processing Times

EEA Permit Applications and Processing Times

With UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) inundated with applications for EEA residence from EU nationals and EEA family permits, it could be easy to assume that the applications have fallen into a bottomless pit, only to be seen at some point in the distant future.

After all, we have all heard of the ongoing cases sitting with UKVI for years and years.

However, EEA residence applications are different. UKVI’s service standards, as governed by EU regulations, dictate that such applications issue the actual EEA family permit or residence permit within 6 months.

The 6 months’ timeframe begins from when UKVI receives the application and supporting documents proving that a right of residence exists.

This means it is crucial that the correct information and documentation is submitted to UKVI as part of the application.

It is possible that circumstances take place which warrant an application being fast tracked.

If so, the latest UKVI guidance, updated on 30 August 2016, states that a request to expedite the EEA residence application can be submitted via email to:

The following information must be provided with the request to expedite the matter:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of application
  • Royal Mail Recorded Delivery number, if applicable
  • Method of payment used when making the application (card, cheque etc.)
  • Case ID or Home Office (HO) reference, if known
  • Date of planned removal, if applicable

UKVI will review the request and decide whether to fast track the matter.

Extenuating or exceptional circumstances which may warrant an application to expedite the application for permanent residence can include:

  • A family emergency such as bereavement or serious illness
  • The need to travel for essential medical treatment overseas

In all cases, documentary evidence of the exceptional, compelling circumstances must be provided together with the information outlined above.

The request is supposed to be sent to UKVI via email. I have also found it helpful to write to the caseworker directly, as detailed in any correspondence, or there is no correspondence, write to UKVI Office at:

UK Visas and Immigration
Permanent Migration
PO Box 306
L2 0QN

But do note that UKVI do not consider family celebrations such as weddings and holidays to be exceptional, compelling ‘family emergencies’ to merit expediting an application.

UKVI also fails to consider day-to-day difficulties as compelling enough to warrant the application being fast tracked, difficulties that non-European family members can experience. It is still worth making the request to UKVI, explaining the circumstances (difficulties in securing a particular job) and documenting any difficulties experienced as a result of the delay.

Hopefully, there will be little need to take such action. Should you require assistance, we would be only too happy you resolve matters. If you have asked UKVI to fast track your EEA residence application, let me know how it went so that we can share this information with others in the same situation.

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  1. C. Thomas

    Hi Sidram,

    Let’s arrange a consultation so that we gather further details from you.


  2. kais

    My wife she is bulgarian citizen and she live in london, can i enter with her to england with my bulgarian residence permit without a visa?, Knowing that our son was born in London!

    • C. Thomas

      Hi Kais,

      If you are from outside the EEA, you will need to apply for an EEA family permit to enter the UK and reside with your wife and son.

      We can arrange a consultation with you to discuss any questions that you may have about EEA family permits in general and can assist you with the application process.


  3. Frederico

    Hi I have a European Passport and I’m married to a Colombian national. I would like to apply for the eea family permit for my wife to join me in the UK, where I have been residing for almost 5 years. But I don’t know the procedures very well.

    • C. Thomas

      Hi Frederico – Your wife will require an EEA family permit to enter the UK. I’ll contact you offline and we can arrange a consultation. That way, I can advise you of the process as it relates to you and your wife specifically, and answer any other questions you may have.


  4. Matteo Nasii

    I am Italian, I have permanent residency card and I have a permanent job. This summer I’ll married my future wife that lives in Italy, but she is Moldavian and has a daughter.
    While preparing all the documentation for EEA family permit, is it mandatory to supply evidence of where will be leaving when they will be in the UK. If I apply without specify our future accommodation details, will I risk a refusal from the Home Office?
    Many thanks

    • C. Thomas

      Hi Matteo,

      When considering the EEA family permit application, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) take into account many factors, including whether you have adequate accommodation to house you, your partner and her daughter.

      It may therefore assist your partner’s application to provide evidence of your entitlement to reside at the property, by way of a tenancy agreement or mortgage documents. You may also wish to detail how many people, apart from you, reside at the property so that it is clear that your family will have adequate space.

      If that accommodation is temporary and you intend to move to alternative accommodation in the near future, you may wish to explain this at the end of the online application form or in a separate supporting letter.

      Hope that helps,

  5. F ALF

    I am British Citizen my wife from Syria
    we Live in Germany she has her 5 years resident card as wife of EEU Person
    we would like to move to the uk
    we have been told we don’t need to apply for visa we could just go to uk


    • C. Thomas


      Your wife is a non-EEA national and appears to be in possession of a valid residence card issued to her as the family member of an EEA national exercising free movement rights in another EEA State, under Article 10 of Directive 2004/38/EC.

      As such, your wife may use this document to travel with you and enter to the UK. She may also join you in the UK at a later date.

      I hope this helps.


  6. Hugh

    Hi Carla,

    My wife submitted her application for an EEA family permit. Is the permit issued in 15 days? Its been almost 2 months.


    • C. Thomas

      Hi Hugh,

      Each location carries different processing times.

      The following link gives details of UKVI’s published processing times for each location and application type: https://www.gov.uk/visa-processing-times

      However, processing may be extended beyond the published timescales if UKVI deem the EEA family permit application to be ‘less than straightforward’.


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