Can a Norwegian citizen bring their non-EEA spouse to live in Britain, without the spouse needing a visa that has an earnings requirement, or any other visa, just as a Polish citizen can but a British citizen can't?

I know that

  • if a British citizen marries a non-EEA citizen (e.g. Algerian), the spouse can come and live in Britain only if they apply for a visa that is subject to an earnings requirement

  • if a non-British EU citizen does the same, the spouse can come and live in Britain without needing a visa that is subject to an earnings requirement

  • the British government is therefore discriminating against its own citizens.

My question is:

what is the position when the person with the non-EEA spouse is a citizen of an EEA member, such as Norway, but not a citizen of the EU?

closed as off-topic by Kris, pnuts, Willeke, CGCampbell, Gayot Fow Aug 20 '15 at 0:10

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  • 3
    Your second bullet point is not entirely accurate. It's true that Australian citizens do not need a visa in this scenario because they are exempt from any visa requirement to visit the UK and the spouses of EU citizens can turn a short visit in a long stay. But visa nationals usually do need a visa to come to Britain, even as the spouse of an EU citizen. That's what the EEA family permit is for. And it's true that the requirements for an EEA family permit are much less restrictive than for a regular spouse visa. – Relaxed Aug 19 '15 at 4:39
  • If you and your partner want to live in the UK, and have questions about the visa/permit side of that, then the Expats site is probably a better home – Gagravarr Aug 19 '15 at 8:51
  • @Relaxed. Thanks for this. I shouldn't have chosen Australia; I will change this to Algeria. The question is hypothetical and I am interested in the politics here, how things change according to the nationality of the UK or EU or EEA person in the UK; it doesn't concern specific people I know. I also meant to type the words "that is subject to an earnings requirement" under the second point, which I have now added. Apologies for this messing about. – ool Aug 19 '15 at 8:57
  • @ool A citizen of Algeria will need a visa, namely the EEA family permit but it's true that this visa does not have high earning requirements. Technically it's not completely unconditional, the sponsor must have either a job or some financial means, see this question for some details. – Relaxed Aug 19 '15 at 9:26
  • Regarding the politics Norway has a kind of quasi-membership in the EU which includes abiding by the rules related to the common market and the freedom of movement so it's just a side effect of regular EU rules. – Relaxed Aug 19 '15 at 9:29

Norwegian citizens are treated like Polish and other EU citizens in this respect. That's because Norway and the rest of the EEA applies free movement rules and Directive 2004/38/EC.

The relevant UK visa is in fact called “EEA family permit” and official documents on related topics like the UK residence card or visa-free entry for the family of people making use of their rights to free movement in another country also all mention the EEA (actually I think Swiss citizens are mostly covered too, even if there is no mention of this anywhere in the pages I linked to).

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