Living and working in the UK for EU and EEA nationals
Most nationals from countries in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) – i.e. Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway – and Switzerland are able to visit the UK for holidays and short trips without the need for a visa. Irish citizens are still able to live and work in the UK.
However, Brexit has halted freedom of movement and new immigration rules are in place requirements for EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals who wish to come to the United Kingdom for more than six months.
If you wish to work, study or live in the UK and do not have family members who are settled here, you will need to apply for a work, study, or family visa.
Find out more on the following pages:
- Work Visas – the points-based visa system
- Health and care worker visas
- Visas for students
- Family visas
Coming to the UK to join family members who have settled or pre-settled status
Family members of EU and EEA nationals who have settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme can join their relatives if they meet certain eligibility criteria.
The person coming to the UK must have been in a relationship with a family member in the UK before 31 December 2020 (unless they’re a Swiss citizen).
Children born outside the UK after 31 December 2020 to EU or EEA nationals who are settled or pre-settled in the UK can come to live in the UK with their parent(s).
Bringing a family member to the UK under the EU settlement scheme
The type of application your family member can make under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) will depend on a number of factors including which country they are coming from and their immigration status.
It is crucial to check all the details and make the correct application before they come to the UK.
Only certain family members can apply to join settled or pre-settled persons and you must be able to prove the relationship and a number of other details.
The following persons can apply for a family permit or for settled/pre-settled status under the EUSS when joining a settled or pre-settled family member.
- Children under 21: You will need to be able to prove the child’s relationship to you. Step-children, adopted children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are also eligible.
- Dependent children over the age of 21: Dependent children might be ill, disabled or in full-time education and unable to meet their own basic needs without your care or financial support. They must have become dependent upon you before 1 January 2021. Step-children, adopted children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are also eligible.
- Spouses (husbands and wives), and civil partners: You must be able to prove that you were married or civil-partnered by 31 December 2020 or you had lived together for two years or more before 31 December 2020 if you were married after this date.
- Long-term partners: You must be able to prove that you had lived together for two years or more before the 31 December 2020 or you can prove your long-term relationship in some other way, for example, you have a child together born before 31 December 2020.
- Dependent parents and grandparents: Those who cannot support themselves financially or who need your care – this includes adoptive parents and great grandparents and those relatives of your spouse or civil partner.
Other family members
Siblings (brothers and sisters), aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces and cousins are not usually able to apply to join a settled or pre-settled family member from the EU or EAA. However, if they had applied for a residence card or family permit before 31 December 2020 they may still be able to make a late application if there were certain practical reasons why they did not meet the deadline.
Late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme
The UK immigration rights of EU and EAA citizens who did not apply to the EUSS by 30 June 2021 have now changed and they no longer have the right to live, study and work in the UK.
If you or your family members have not yet applied and wish to stay in the UK, you may be able to make a late application on practical or compassionate grounds and if you can prove there was a valid reason for not applying before the deadline.
Wellers immigration service
The Wellers Immigration Team is led by our expert immigration solicitor, Rosalind Nunoo.
Rosalind has more than 15 years’ experience handling immigration and human rights cases for clients from all over the world. Each case is unique and Rosalind strives to help each client find the best immigration solution for their circumstances.
We can help clients who have very difficult and complicated circumstances; including:
- applications which fall outside of the usual immigration rules
- applications on discretionary grounds
- applications on compassionate grounds
To speak to Wellers about coming to the UK from the EU or EEA why not book an affordable and totally confidential fixed-fee consultation for just £100 + VAT. We will answer your questions and explain the immigration routes that apply to your particular situation. You will not be charged for your consultation if you go on to instruct us.
To book your appointment call Rosalind Nunoo on 020 8290 7982 or fill out our short enquiry form.