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What if the Family Member has 5 years' residence but their EEA relative doesn't?
If the EEA national has been in the UK less than five years but qualifies for settled status under one of the situations below,* then their non-EEA family member can apply for settled status only if:

  • they were the EEA national's family member at the point that the EEA national became eligible to apply for settled status with less than 5 years' residence  and
  • the non-EEA national has resided continuously in the UK for 5 years by the time the EEA national became eligible to apply for settled status and
  • they are currently living in the UK. 

* if the person is an EEA national who has been living in the UK since before 31st December 2020/ Brexit day, they will be eligible for settled status with less than 5 years' continuous residence, if they:

(a) Have retired from work or self employment. This only applies where they had a right to reside for at least three years, and in the twelve months immediately before retiring this was a right to reside as a worker; and they retired when they reached state retirement pension age or, if they were an employed worker (not self employed) the date could have been before state retirement age - ie they took early retirement.

(b) Are permanently incapacitated. This only applies where they had a right to reside in the UK for at least two years before stopping work/self employment due to permanent incapacity unless the incapacity was from an accident at work or an occupational disease (so long as the accident /disease means they could get "a pension payable in full or in part by an institution in the UK"); or

(c) They have been working in another EU country. This only applies where, immediately before their work abroad they had a right to reside as a worker for at least three years as a worker or self-employed person, and they retained a place of residence in the UK to which they returned, as a rule, at least once a week. 

Note that if the EEA national is the spouse or partner of a British citizen then where they qualify under (a) (retired) or (b) (permanently incapacitated)  they are not restricted by the rules about length of time as a resident or as a worker.





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