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:

  • BRCDelivery@homeoffice.gsi.gov.uk.

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.