Migration for European Nationals

UK Immigration for EEA National

EEA nationals and their family members are entitled to move freely among Member States to work, set up in self employment, retire and study. The rights are not wholly unrestricted, particularly regarding the ability to secure stay for family members, but they are powerful nonetheless. These are often referred to as exercising of treaty rights of free movement. EEA nationals do not need to obtain permission or “Entry Clearance” at the British Embassy prior to their travel to the UK.

The free movement law applies to citizens of countries within the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

The pre existing member states were:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Luxembourg
  • The Netherlands
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • The United Kingdom

The two Accession States which joined the EU on 1 may 2004 and immediately gained full free movement rights for their citizens were as follows:

  • Cyprus
  • Malta

The eight Accession States which joined EU on 1st may 2004 and were not immediately granted full free movement rights, often referred to as the “A8” countries, were as follows:

  • Czech Republic
  • Esonia
  • Hungary
  • Latvia
  • Lithunia
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia

Two further countries then joined the EU on 1st January 2007 and, again were not immediately granted full free movement rights for their citizen, often referred to as “A2” countries. The countries concerned are:

  • Bulgaria
  • Romania

The European Economic Area (EEA) took effect from the 1 January 1994, and now comprises the existing EU Member States plus

  • Iceland
  •  Norway
  • Liechtenstein

For freedom of improvement purposes, Switzerland is also treated by all EEA members as if it was a member of the EEA.

For national from Turkey there is an association agreement in place which allows Turkish nationals the right to establish themselves in business in the EEA.

Do they enjoy the same and equal rights of free movement in the UK?

All EEA and Swiss nationals can enter and live in the United Kingdom without needing to apply for any permission. However when it comes to the right of work in the UK, the members states shares unequal rights.