You are a European Economic Area (EEA) national if you are a citizen of one of the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland have rights which are similar to those of nationals of EEA countries. this
Right to Reside
EEA nationals are entitled to reside in the UK for an initial period of three months, after that you have the right to reside for as long as you remain a qualified person. We can of course assist you in obtaining confirmation of your right to reside in the UK.
A qualified person is defined in regulation 6 of the regulations as an EEA national that is living in the UK as a:
• job seeker (for a limited time only)
• self-employed person
• self-sufficient person (with health insurance)
• student (with health insurance)
You need a certificate to work if you’re from Croatia.
Becoming permanently resident
If you have had a right to reside in the UK for five years, you automatically get the right to permanent residence. You may apply for a document certifying your permanent right of residence, however no documentation is required under the EEA Regulations.
Given the current climate, especially with Brexit, it is highly advisable to obtain confirmation of this right. At the current time, the future of EEA nationals is uncertain, so why take a risk?
You are also entitled to healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS). However, you may have to pay for some treatments if you don’t normally live in the UK. In most cases other than emergencies you will have to show a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or passport or ID card to get this.
The rights listed above also apply to the family members of all EU/EEA nationals. People who are classed as family members include:
- a husband, wife or civil partner
- a child who is under 21 or is dependent on you
a child who is under 21 or is dependent on you
dependent relatives, which could include unmarried partners, although special rules apply in some circumstances.
The EEA Family Permit makes it possible for family members who are not EEA nationals to join them in the United Kingdom. EEA Family Permit holders are able to enter the United Kingdom and live and work there on the basis of them being a dependent of a citizen of the European Economic Area (EEA).
Family Member of British Nationals (Surinder Singh)
Have you lived with a British national in another EEA country? If so, this may apply to you. There are many benefits of obtaining a right to reside under the EEA Regulations due to your relationship with a British national than under the ‘normal’ Immigration Rules, such as no financial requirement among others. However, the requirements are complex so speak to us for further information.
If you are not yourself an EEA national, but have previously had a right to reside in the UK under the EEA Regulations, you may also have retained this right despite a significant change in your circumstances. Often, this occurs when your marriage breaks down.
Even more complex than Retained Rights, you may in fact have a right to reside when you are not yourself an EEA national. Speak to one of our lawyers for guidance on whether this may or may not also apply to you.