EU Citizens in the UK
European Union residents & UK immigration
This section covers the rights and obligations of nationals of the European Economic Area (EEA), additionally to Swiss nationals and their visiting or migrating families.
EEA and Swiss nationals, reserve the right to work and live within the UK, if they:
- are working within the UK, and have been issued permission through registration; or
- are fully able to support themselves independently of family, without the receipt of public funds
This right is formerly known as the 'right of residence'.
Entering the United Kingdom
When entering the UK, either a passport or identity card it is required. Where possible visitors should use the channel marked 'EEA/EU'. Passports and identity cards will be checked to ensure validity.
If a visitor has the right to reside within the UK, it is also a right for the family to accompany the visitor in their stay. The legal definition of family in this instance is:
- a spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner;
- children or grandchildren of the visitor, or their spouse or civil partner under 21 years of age or any other related dependency; and
- parents or grandparents of the visitor, spouse or civil partner.
Students visiting the United Kingdom are only entitled to the accompanying stay of their spouse, civil partner or dependent children.
Any other additional relatives and extended family members i.e. brothers, sisters and cousins, are not automatically entitled to United Kingdom residency. In order to acquire extended family consideration the family member must be able to demonstrate their dependency upon the visitor.
Partners that are not married or civil partners must be able to prove the extent or their durable relationship with each other.
Family members who are not EEA or Swiss nationals
In the event that a visitors family members are not EEA or Swiss nationals and wish to reside within the United Kingdom on a long term basis or permanently, EEA family permit application is required prior to entry. Similar to a visa, EEA family permits are issued by visa services, applications should be made at the nearest British diplomatic post.
Both the visitor and family members are entitled to do any of the following:
In these cases work permits are not required. Employers are not to discriminate against nationality through terms of conditions of employment, working conditions or pay.
For those who are Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovakian or a Slovenian national; registration under the Worker Registration Scheme is an obligation upon acceptance of work within the United Kingdom that ensures permission is granted for all workers, coupled with ensuring that the workers are aware or their rights and employers obligations.
For nationals of Romania or Bulgaria, work may not be granted until the successful receipt of permission from the authorities.
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