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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:

  • [email protected]

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.

Join the discussion

  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.


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