I've recently received the UK visa for an EU national family member (6 months, multiple). I cannot find it on the Home Office site, but the visa itself reads:

UK Entry Clearance

Number of entries: mult

Type: Visa EEA FP: Family member To acc. my wife's name

I've visited the UK with my wife who is an EU citizen. Now I'd like to go to the UK again. Can I use the same visa (which is valid for 4 more months) and enter the country alone, or do I have to apply for another type of visa?

I know that for the Schengen visas it is impossible to have two valid visas in the passport at the same time. That's why I am wondering what the rules for the UK visas are.

I also wonder if there is actually a contact point at the Home Office, where I can ask such questions.

  • What does it say on the visa itself? I can't find it on the gov.uk website.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 14:38
  • @Relaxed: I also cannot find it for some reason, but I've checked — you can end with this choice if you try to apply for the visa again. I added the details to the question.
    – texnic
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 16:27
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    “EEA FP” presumably means “EEA Family Permit”, which is indeed valid for 6 months. But my understanding was that such a permit is issued to people who want to move to the UK, hence my confusion. I don't think it would be valid if your wife is not traveling with you or living in the UK but I am no expert.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 22, 2014 at 16:37
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    Yes, it makes sense, that was more-or-less my thinking as well but the gov.uk website does not seem to mention that particular visa, which is a bit confusing. But maybe someone with practical experience or a better knowledge of UK law than myself will be able to shed some light on all this. What is clear in any case is the EU regulations only apply if your wife is traveling with you.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 12:31
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    I think the EEA FP can be granted several times but it can only be used once (i.e. you need another one if you want to leave the UK and enter again before getting a residence card – which holders are expected to seek after entering the UK since the stated goal is allowing people to become residents and not merely visit).
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


It looks like I have the answer.

2) Not without difficulties, I managed to find a web-site—ukvi-international.faq-help.com—where one can ask questions about UK visas. The site looks very nice: They offer a free email service promising to answer questions within 3 working days, or a paid (1.4 GBP/minute, waiting time excluded) telephone service. They can even access one's visa application file based on the GWF-number.

1) The response to my question posted above was however in line with the whole UK visa-related business—i.e. provide as little information as possible. It read literally:

1) Am I allowed to use the same visa if I want to travel alone or should I apply for a regular visitor visa? As long as you have a valid visa with no restrictions imposed on your visa you can travel alone to the Uk.

2) If I travel together with my wife, am I allowed to stay in the UK a few days longer than she does or should we leave the country together as well? Should you have a valid visa to the UK, you can stay in the UK, until the visa is valid. We hope that this has answered your query.

Each time I get in touch with the UK border-crossing-related services, I get the feeling that it's the Home Office' policy to discourage people to deal with them—and thus apply for the visas or enter the country—as much as possible. Not sure how it helps to develop the country's tourist business. May be they feel its blooming anyway and they have too long queues in the airports already (which is true).

In any case, it looks like I cannot re-use the same visa alone, since it states: to accompany xxx. I will apply for a regular visa and ask again once I am at the border. Will post the update then.

  • I'm reading that response as saying "Yes, you can travel to the UK alone on your current visa". What makes you think differently? Are you concerned that the "to accompany X" is a "restriction"? Commented Jun 1, 2014 at 23:35
  • @jpatokal: Yes, exactly. You don't think it's a restriction? Looks like "the visa is granted to accompany...". So at the border they will be logical to point to this phrase. What else would be a "restriction", except maybe "single entry"?
    – texnic
    Commented Jun 2, 2014 at 15:29
  • If you're concerned, then mail or call them again to clarify, it's a lot easier and cheaper than applying for an entirely new visa. Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 0:47
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    @jpatokal if a non-EEA traveler shows up at the border with an EEA family permit, without the EEA family member, the officer can ask whether the EEA family member is in the UK. If not, the officer can deny entry.
    – phoog
    Commented Dec 8, 2015 at 20:29

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