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I am a Filipina and my partner is French. We are unmarried, but we have been living together for 2.5 years now. He will start to work in London in April. I am travelling with him with a standard visitor visa. My questions are:

  1. Is it possible to apply for an EEA FM permit in the UK while just having a standard visitor visa or is it necessary to exit the UK to apply for that?

  2. If I need to exit the UK to apply for EEA FM permit, is it necessary to apply for it from the Philippines or would just any country do, as long as it is outside the UK territory (eg. France)? Budget and time are the main factors.

  3. Do we need to wait for his third month in the UK before we can apply, or can we immediately apply as long as we have the documents required?

Hoping you can enlighten me. Thank you very much.

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  1. If you already have a standard visitor visa, you are asking about the wrong document. If you are in the UK, you do not need an EEA family permit; you need a residence card. You can only apply for an EEA family permit outside the UK, but its principal value is to help you enter the UK without having to qualify for or pay for a standard visitor visa (the EEA family permit is free of charge). None of this applies to someone who is in the UK. If you do not yet have a visitor visa, you should apply for an EEA family permit instead of a visa, since the purpose of the EEA FP is to replace a visa.

  2. This question is not applicable because you do not need an EEA family permit. You need a residence card, for which you can only apply from inside the UK. If you ever do find yourself in a position where you need an EEA family permit, however, you should be aware that you can get it at any UK consulate. You do not need to go to the Philippines.

  3. To apply for the residence card, you must wait until he is a "qualified person." You do not need to wait until your partner has been in the UK for three months. If he's going to the UK to take up employment there, he's a qualified person at least as soon as he starts work.

For further information, I recommend the government's pages on

A further note: the abbreviation EEA (FM) actually denotes the application form for the residence card, not the family permit. The form can also be used for a registration certificate, which your partner may need to apply for. See the government's page for that form for more information.

  • Thank you for your detailed response. Things are much clearer now. Can you also advise if I will be eilgible to work once I receive the COA (Certificate of Application)? Thank you again. – leiignacio28 Mar 20 '18 at 17:16
  • @leiignacio28 perhaps you should ask that as a new question. The answer depends on whether you and your partner are married or in a registered partnership on one hand, or simply "partners in a durable relationship" on the other hand. – phoog Mar 20 '18 at 17:27

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