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I am asking this on behalf of my brother-ib-law. He is an Italian citizen who has been living in the UK for one and half years. My sister married him some 8 years ago and they have two kids 7 and 3 who are also Italian citizens but my sister currently has an Italian residence card which expires in another 2 years while she is a Pakistani citizen and she has been living in Pak with her kids for 2 years now. They have always wanted to move to the UK but sadly recently my brother-in-law has been diagnosed with tumor which is in critical stage. He always planned to travel to Italy and then bring his family with him which doesn't require my sister to have a visa or EEA permit to enter. His traveling is now out of the question so I have the following queries and I would really appreciate some advice.

  1. We have been told that if his hospital writes a letter describing his illness and his inability to travel, she can travel with her kids without him travelling with them and she will be allowed to enter the UK from Italy. Are there any legal grounds for that?
  2. My brother-in-law used to work regularly till January this year but lost his job and then went to Pak for three months trip in early this year. He hasn't been able to find any regular job and has been doing a few hours here and there to make ends meet till he has diagnosed a month ago. He has payslips of his job till January and then a recent payslip for his odd job. Will that has any impact on his eligibility? He has recently applied and got his pre-settled status in the UK for the EU settlement scheme.

Really appreciate any advice

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  1. The hospital doesn't need to write a letter. She can enter with the UK without him if two things are true:

    • He is already in the UK, and
    • Her residence card says that it is the residence card of a citizen of the EU ("carta di soggiorno di familiari di un cittadino dell'unione").

The second may not be true, since he is Italian and the card was issued by Italy. If it is not true, she cannot enter the UK without a visa, and a letter from the hospital will not help. If the card does include the magic words, see Guidance: Entering the UK as the holder of an Article 10 residence card for more details.

  1. Since he has pre-settled status, she can apply for a settled status family permit, which is free. I don't think they'll go into his employment again at the time of the application, but it is not clear. See my answer to a recent question for more details. Both the settled status family permit and the EEA family permit are free of charge and should be issued quickly.

As you have indicated in a comment, the card does indeed have the magic words, which means she can use it to travel to the UK without a visa, on the condition that her husband is either with her or already in the UK. She will have to be able to show this to the border officers, and she may have to demonstrate it to the airline.

The airline agent who is checking her visa will see this in TIMATIC:

Visa Exemptions:

Family members of a national of Switzerland or an EEA Member State, with a "Permanent Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen" or a "Residence Card of a Family Member of a Union Citizen" issued by Italy to family members of a Union Citizen.

Passengers with an EEA Family Permit issued by the United Kingdom if the holder is traveling with, or to join the EEA or Swiss national.

I do not know in practice what evidence they will accept to establish to their satisfaction that she is "joining" her husband in the UK, but having him by a (land-line) telephone ready to accept their call might do the trick.

  • Thanks a lot for your kind advice. I was looking at all of her documents and those exact words in Italian are written on her residence card. She lived in Italy for around 3 years and was issued that residence card. Not sure if I can upload an image here but her residence card has those exact words(there is a line in English below that which says Residence card of a family member of a union citizen) – WaseemSarwar Sep 13 at 20:48
  • @WaseemSarwar in that case, she can use that card to travel to the UK without a visa. I will edit the answer. – phoog Sep 13 at 21:02
  • That sounds great. Thanks a lot for your help. I will make sure that she carries quite a few documents like her husband's NI number, payslips, and his CSCS employment card where he was supposed to start his new job before he was diagnosed with her to prove he is staying in the country. I can also ask her to print his pre-settlement document as well. We were planning to apply for the EEA permit but that takes least 3 weeks which isn't the best thing to do while he is going through his treatment. Thanks a lot for your help – WaseemSarwar Sep 13 at 21:12
  • @WaseemSarwar has he been in the UK for longer than 3 months? Those documents shouldn't be necessary otherwise, and probably won't be necessary even if he has been. I believe the important thing is to establish that he is physically in the UK when she boards the plane and when she approaches the UK immigration officer. If any officer goes into the question of whether he is "qualified" under article 7(1) of the directive, she may need to show that he is looking for work, although his "odd job" might be enough. – phoog Sep 13 at 21:21
  • @WaseemSarwar I would also have her carry a copy of his pre-settled status confirmation. In particular, she would need his "EU Settlement Scheme application number" if she were applying for a settlement scheme family permit, so she should have that with her when she travels. – phoog Sep 13 at 21:22

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