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European Union Nationals. We advise European Union nationals regarding the interplay between European Union law and U.K Immigration law. European Union nationals and their family members may require advice and assistance with applications to the Border and Immigration Agency on a wide variety of matters relating to EU law. The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Irish Republic, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom. Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are not members of the European Union (EU) but citizens of these countries have the same rights to enter, live in and work in the United Kingdom as EU citizens.

EEA and Swiss nationals have the right to live and work in the United Kingdom. This is called the right of residence. You will only have the right of residence in the United Kingdom if:
  • you are an EEA or Swiss national; and
  • you are working in the United Kingdom; or
  • you are able to support yourself and family in the United Kingdom without the help of public funds.

If you have a right to live the in the United Kingdom, your family may join you. You family is defined as:

  • your spouse or civil partner;
  • children or grandchildren or you, your spouse or your civil partner, who are under 21 years of age or who are dependent upon you;
  • the parents or grandparents of you, your spouse or your civil partner.

If you are a student, only your spouse, civil partner or dependent children are entitled to a right of residence.

Other relatives, for example extended family members such as brothers, sisters and cousins do not have an automatic right to live in the United Kingdom. To be considered, the extended family member must be able to demonstrate 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.

If your family members are not EEA or Swiss nationals and are coming to live with you permanently or on a long term basis they will need to apply for an EEA family permit before coming to the United Kingdom. The EEA family permit is similar to a visa and is issued by UKvisas. Your family members should make an application for an EEA family permit at their nearest British diplomatic post.

You and your family members can:

  • accept offers of work;
  • work (whether as an employee or in self-employment);
  • set up a business;
  • manage a company;
  • set up a local branch of a company.
If you are a national of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia you will need to register under the Worker Registration Scheme when you take work in the United Kingdom.

If you are a national of Bulgaria or Romania you must not work until give permission to do so by the Home Office.

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The Right to Marry in the UK and Closure of the Certificate of Approval Scheme on 9th May 2011.
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Changes to Student visas effective from 21 April 2011.
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Changes relating to Re-entry bans - reduced from 5 years to 2 years where individuals voluntarily return – April 2011.
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Post-Study Work (PSW) to close from April 2012.
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Changes affecting settlement applications - New criminality and income requirements – from 6th April 2011.
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Accreditation Requirements - Important news for Colleges and Universities under Tier 4.
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Faster routes for settlement for Investors and Entrepreneurs under Tier 1 – March 2011.
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Closure of Workers Registration Scheme (WRS) – 10 March 2011.
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Tier 2 - skilled workers: Changes to Tier 2 (General) – limit on visas, changes to Shortage occupations list and Graduate level requirements started. – March 2011.
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