As an EEA or Swiss national, you have the right to live and work in the UK (known as the ‘right of residence’) if:
- you are working here (and have obtained our permission to work if this is required – see below); or
- you can support yourself and your family in the UK without becoming an unreasonable burden on public funds.
Entering the UK
When you enter the UK, you must show your passport or national identity card. You should use the separate channel marked ‘EEA/EU’, where it is available. Immigration officers will check your passport or national identity card to ensure that it is valid and belongs to you.
If you have a right to live the in the UK, your family may join you here. Your family is defined as:
- your spouse (husband or wife) or civil partner;
- any children or grandchildren of you, your spouse or your civil partner who are under 21 years of age or who are dependent on you; and
- the parents or grandparents of you, your spouse or your civil partner.
If you are a student, only your spouse or civil partner and dependent children have a right of residence.
Other relatives (including extended family members such as brothers, sisters and cousins) do not have an automatic right to live in the UK. To be considered, they must be able to show that they are dependent on you.
If you and your partner are not married or in a civil partnership, you must be able to show that you are in a durable relationship with each other.
Family members who are not EEA or Swiss nationals
If your family members are not EEA or Swiss nationals, they may need to apply for an EEA family permit before they can come to the UK. This permit is similar to a visa.
For more information, please contact us to book an appointment for the initial consultation.
If you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania, you must obtain our permission in order to work here.
If you are a national of any other EEA country or Switzerland, you will not need to apply for our permission in order to work here.
You and your family members can:
- accept offers of work
- work as an employee and/or in self-employment
- set up a business
- manage a company
- set up a local branch of a company
You can also do all these types of work if you are studying in the UK.
Your employer should not discriminate against you because of your nationality in terms of conditions of employment, pay or working conditions. For more information, please contact us to book an appointment for the initial consultation.
Registration certificates, residence cards and family member residence stamps
A registration certificate is a document, issued to an EEA national, that confirms the holder’s right of residence under European law. You do not needa registration certificate to be able to enter, live in or work in the UK.
Residence cards are issued to EEA nationals’ family members who are not EEA nationals themselves. The card is in fact a sticker (also called a ‘vignette’), placed in your passport, which confirms your right of residence in the UK under European law. It is normally valid for 5 years, and you should produce it as evidence of your status when asked to do so. (In some circumstances, we may issue you with an immigration status document instead of an vignette in your passport. You should produce this document and your passport as evidence of your status when asked to do so.)
If the EEA national is a worker from Bulgaria or Romania, who requires authorisation to work in the UK, their non-EEA family members cannot apply for a residence card until the Bulgarian or Romanian national has completed 12 months’ continuous legal employment in the UK. Until that time, each non-EEA national family member can apply for a family member residence stamp to confirm their right of residence under European law.
When you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, you can apply for confirmation of permanent residence. For more information, please contact us to book an appointment for the initial consultation.