My girlfriend is an EEA national (German) and I am not. We have both been living together and working in Germany for >2 years.

We're now planning to take a short holiday (~4 days) to the UK and considering the best kind of permit for me to apply for. If I were on my own, I'd need a visa, but we found the EEA family permit, which sounds like it would be a better option.

The thing is, we're struggling a bit with the phrasing of the requirements for the application, as it seems to change along the process. Sometimes, it seems it is enough to prove my girlfriend will be travelling with me (or within a period of 6 months), but sometimes we find wording that suggests that she's expected to take up residence as a result of the trip.

So, in short: is the EEA family permit the right option to apply for a non-EEA citizen with an EEA-citizen as a ("long-standing") girlfriend, living in Germany, lacking any British roots, seeking to visit the UK for a rather short period?

  • Do you have a residence card of a family member of an EU citizen? If so, you don't need an EEA family permit.
    – phoog
    Aug 25, 2019 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


Yes, you can use an EEA family permit for a short trip. My best evidence in support of this assertion is that my mother-in-law has done it.

In the free movement directive, there is a "right of residence for up to three months" which does not require anyone to be a "qualified person" (i.e., working, studying, or having demonstrated self-sufficience): this is the right that is exercised by short-term visitors. So don't be unduly confused by the use of the word "residence."

As an unmarried partner, you'll have to provide evidence of your "durable relationship," which should normally be accepted if you've lived together for more than 2 years. As long as you can do that, the EEA family permit should be granted.

  • Have the rules been settled for EEA family permit after October 31st assuming no-deal? Aug 25, 2019 at 16:05
  • 1
    @PatriciaShanahan as far as I'm aware there will be no more EEA family permits after the end of free movement, and there's no real reason to think it could be otherwise. There are suggestions now to end free movement immediately in the event of a no-deal exit. So the point at which free movement will end is far from settled. There will be a "settlement scheme" family permit, but those would be available only to the family of people registered under the settlement scheme, so they would not be useful for short-term visits of family members of EU citizens living outside the UK.
    – phoog
    Aug 25, 2019 at 19:31
  • @PatriciaShanahan furthermore, existing EEA family permits will presumably be useless after free movement ends, even if they have not reached the end of their nominal validity.
    – phoog
    Aug 25, 2019 at 20:27
  • That is about what I thought. With no-deal looking like a realistic possibility, it matters whether the OP plans to travel before or after October 31st. Aug 25, 2019 at 21:29

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