I am a Spanish citizen living in the UK, and my spouse is a Gambian national living in Gambia, I am intending to apply for him to join me in to the UK. I am currently in Gambia with him and I heard that there is a way that he will be able to come along with me as a family member of an EEA citizen under the settlement scheme. Can someone help me to explain how to apply and the requirements, as they told me I don’t need to be working as I am in the Gambia with him and we are planning to come together.
As you have already registered with the settlement scheme, your spouse should apply for an EU settlement scheme family permit. If you do not have settled or pre-settled status, he would apply for an EEA family permit (details on the same page).
If you have "pre-settled status" I believe you have to be working or otherwise "qualified" for the application to succeed, but this is not clear.
If you have already applied for the EU settlement scheme, you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit:
You can apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK if all of the following apply:
- you’re from outside the European Economic Area (EEA)
- you’re the ‘close’ family member of an EEA or Swiss national (excluding UK nationals)
- the EEA citizen you’re joining has ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status under the EU Settlement Scheme
- the EEA citizen you’re joining is in the UK already or travelling with you to the UK within 6 months of the date of your application
I believe this is the document you're looking for: Free Movement Rights: direct family members of European Economic Area (EEA) nationals
As a general rule, family members of EU nationals have an automatic right to accompany or join their EU partners/parents in another member state. A visa is still required to enter the EU but must be issued free of charge and ASAP.
However, since May took over the Home Office the UK has set up numerous barriers that make it much more difficult to get such a visa. The intention to leave the EU won't make it easier either.
Applying for an entry visa to the UK for family members of EU nationals requires filling out a whopping 14 pages that include very personal questions.
The freedom of movement of EU nationals and their family members in the UK will at least continue until 2020-12-31: No deal immigration arrangements for EU citizens arriving after Brexit
I believe it might be advisable to think about entering the UK from Ireland, at least if it proves impossible to get a UK visa in time. The point for this is not to prevent being refused entry but to avoid trouble with your airline as they most likely would have no clue about the Citizen's Directive and do not let you board the plane regardless of your rights. I am not entirely sure about the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK but for the Schengen Area all that is required is an entry visa. After entry, the visa is completely irrelevant as long as you have other means to prove your relationship. This should also apply for the CTA as the Citizen's Directive is (still) valid in the UK as well.
You should carry your marriage certificate with you. If your certificate is Spanish, simply get a multilingual EU certificate. If it is Gambian, it might be advisable to get your marriage registered in Spain first, as the Gambia is not member to the Hague Convention, meaning in order to do anything, you'd have to get it recognised for every country you go which would be most likely less painful in your home country doing it once only.