European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens living in the UK can make applications for a registration certificate, permanent residence document, and British citizenship.
As an EU citizen, you are however currently not required to apply for any documents to prove that you can live in the UK unless you want to apply for British citizenship or want to sponsor your partner’s visa application.
Here’re the different categories that can you make an application under EU Law as an EEA national.
- Registration certificate – EEA National
- Permanent Residence – PR for EEA National
- EEA family permit from outside the UK
- Residence Card as family member or extended family member of an EEA National
- Retained Right Of Residence as family member of an EEA National
- Derivative Residence Card as a primary carer
General Overview of EEA / EU Immigration
Nationals of all EEA (European Economic Area) countries, and also those of Switzerland, have immigration rights under European law and are allowed to come to the UK without any visa or form of permission. These immigration rights under European law are called “free movement” rights.
If such an EEA national comes to the UK to work or study or is financially self-sufficient, they are considered to be “exercising Treaty rights” in the UK under European law, ie they are exercising their immigration legal rights as provided by the EC Treaty.
Their family members (spouse/civil partner, unmarried partner, parents, grandparents, children under the age of 21) also have immigration rights under European law, even if they are not citizens of one of the relevant European countries. But, in general, such non-EEA family members may require visas to enter the UK or to easily prove their status as family members.
In some ways, European law is less stringent than UK immigration law and the various requirements may be easier for applicants to meet. There is, for example, no English language requirement under European law, and there are no financial/accommodation requirements to be met.
EU / EEA Citizens
You are classed as an EU citizen if you are a national of one of the EU countries including;
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway in addition to all the EU countries listed above. European Economic Area binds all these countries to be part of the EU’s single market.
Switzerland is one additional country that isn’t included under EU nor an EEA member but it’s part of the EU’s single market which allows all Swiss nationals to have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
Brexit and EEA/ EU Immigration
With the ongoing Brexit process, the government is working on a new scheme that will be available to the EU citizens and their families after the UK leaves the EU. The government also assures that there will be no change to the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU.
However, once the UK leaves the EU, you will be required by law to apply for permission to stay in the UK.
The UK government has also stated that your current permanent residence document won’t be valid after the UK leaves the EU.
Depending on your circumstances, it’s in your best interest to make the right application and secure your rights of living in the UK as soon as possible.
EEA / EU Immigration UK Applications
At Edmans & Co, we deal with EEA and EU immigration applications on a daily basis and would love to help you make the right application. Call us today to speak to one of our EEA immigration lawyers in London and discuss your possibilities.