Out of date. Newly arriving EU and EEA Nationals no longer have the right to live and work in the UK since 1 January 2021
EU nationals, Swiss nationals and EEA nationals have a right to live and work in the United Kingdom. This is called a right of residence. If you are not sure if you are an EEA national, please see the full list on our Who needs a UK Tier 2 visa or other type of visa? page.
It is still currently the intention for the UK to leave the EU. EU, EEA nationals and Swiss nationals can continue to freely arrive and live and work in the UK until Brexit actually happens (if it ever happens). Those who are already in the UK can apply for settled status or pre-settled status if they have been in the UK for less than five years.
You have a right of residence in the United Kingdom if you are an EEA national and:
- You are working in the United Kingdom; or
- You do not work in the United Kingdom, but you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay without help from public funds. Public funds include Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.
In order to enter the UK, you will have to show your passport or national identity card. When you arrive at major ports and airports, you should use the separate channel marked 'EEA/EU' where it is available. Immigration officers will check your passport or national identity card to make sure that it is valid and belongs to you.
Working in the UK
- accept offers of work;
- work (whether as an employee, in self-employment or in business);
- set up a business;
- manage a company; or
- set up a local branch of a company.
If you are an EEA or Swiss national you do not need a work permit for the above activities.
You can live in the United Kingdom as a student, as a retired person or if you are not working, as long you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay without needing help from public funds.
A residence permit simply confirms that you have a right to live in the United Kingdom under European Community law. You will need to apply for a residence permit if your family members want to apply for a residence document.
A residence permit is normally valid for five years. However, residence permits may be issued for a shorter period if you are working or studying in the United Kingdom for less than 12 months.
You will probably not be given a residence permit if:
- you are in the United Kingdom for a short visit;
- you are looking for work;
- you will work and live in the United Kingdom for less than three months; or
- you do not work in the United Kingdom and cannot support yourself without help from public funds.
UK visa information, help, and advice
Workpermit.com has over thirty years of experience in immigration services, and have helped thousands of people to study and work in the UK. Workpermit.com and its associated companies represent clients in compliance with Section 84 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999. In some cases we can submit your UK visa application to the Home Office to be dealt with on the same day.