I am a mexican citizen who is married to a Polish citizen. My husband got a job in the UK to start at the beginning of january. We are very happy for the proposal but now I am facing a difficult situation because it seems that I need to have an EEA family permission before I join my husband.

However, since I'm Mexican, I'm entitled to stay in the UK for a period of three months. I would like to know if it's possible to obtain the EEA family permit once we are already in the UK. I am aware that to obtain such permit it's required to prove my husband has been working in the UK for at least three months. So, we were planning to submit all the required papers before my time in the UK expires. Is it possible to do that?

Also, how long does it take to get this EEA family permit from the moment you submit the papers to the moment you receive it?

  • I have no current info but I know that a few years ago family permit applications took a long time to be processed, i.e. six months or more (that's much longer than allowed under EU law).
    – Gala
    Nov 28, 2015 at 11:25
  • 1
    @Gala this is no longer the case, at least for one EEA family permit I know about that was for a short-term visit, applied for and issued last spring.
    – phoog
    Nov 29, 2015 at 4:00

1 Answer 1


No, you cannot apply for an EEA family permit from within the UK, it says so explicitly on the official gov.uk website:

You must be outside the UK to apply for an EEA family permit.

But the good news is that you probably don't need to. I think you can apply directly for a residence card instead, which has many advantages. Technically, even this is supposed to be optional but having a residence card would make it much easier to leave and reenter the country. The EEA family permit is really intended for people who cannot enter the UK at all without entry clearance (i.e. visa nationals), which is not your case.

Furthermore, there is no requirement to have worked for three months in the UK before getting one, it's only that working makes your husband and his family eligible to stay for more than three months. In principle, a work contract lasting more than three months should therefore be enough, from day one.

Do note that border guards are likely to check that you are indeed entitled to reside under EU rules so have all the necessary documents with you when crossing the border. Specifically, you need a marriage certificate or some other document that proves your husband is really your husband (possibly translated as applicable) and a copy of your husband's work contract to prove he is really a worker. Your husband must obviously hold some ID proving he is a Polish citizen.

  • Gala, thanks so much for your information. I really appreciate it.
    – MariaCV
    Nov 28, 2015 at 18:36

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