EU nationals, Swiss nationals and EEA nationals have a right to live and work in the United Kingdom. This is called a right of residence. If you are not sure if you are an EEA national, please see the full list on our Who needs a UK Tier 2 visa or other type of visa? page. 

It is still currently the intention for the UK to leave the EU.  EU, EEA nationals and Swiss nationals can continue to freely arrive and live and work in the UK until Brexit actually happens (if it ever happens).  Those who are already in the UK can apply for settled status or pre-settled status if they have been in the UK for less than five years. 

You have a right of residence in the United Kingdom if you are an EEA national and:

  • You are working in the United Kingdom; or 
  • You do not work in the United Kingdom, but you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay without help from public funds. Public funds include Income Support, Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit.

In order to enter the UK, you will have to show your passport or national identity card. When you arrive at major ports and airports, you should use the separate channel marked ‘EEA/EU’ where it is available. Immigration officers will check your passport or national identity card to make sure that it is valid and belongs to you.
 

Working in the UK

You can:

  • accept offers of work;
  • work (whether as an employee, in self-employment or in business);
  • set up a business;
  • manage a company; or
  • set up a local branch of a company.

If you are an EEA or Swiss national you do not need a work permit for the above activities. 

You can live in the United Kingdom as a student, as a retired person or if you are not working, as long you have enough money to support yourself throughout your stay without needing help from public funds.

Residence permits

A residence permit simply confirms that you have a right to live in the United Kingdom under European Community law. You will need to apply for a residence permit if your family members want to apply for a residence document. 

A residence permit is normally valid for five years. However, residence permits may be issued for a shorter period if you are working or studying in the United Kingdom for less than 12 months.

You will probably not be given a residence permit if:

  • you are in the United Kingdom for a short visit;
  • you are looking for work;
  • you will work and live in the United Kingdom for less than three months; or
  • you do not work in the United Kingdom and cannot support yourself without help from public funds.
  • UK Visa Tier Points-Based Immigration System
    • Tier 1 Visa
      • Tier 1 Exceptional Talent Visa
      • Tier 1 Graduate Entrepreneur
      • Tier 1 Investor Visa
    • Tier 2 Visa for Skilled Workers
      • Tier 2 General Visa
      • Tier 2 Intra-Company Transfer Visa
      • Tier 2 Visa Points System
      • UK Visa Tier 2 Certificate of Sponsorship
      • Tier 2 Sponsor Licence Application – How to apply
      • UK Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List
      • Tier 2 Minister of Religion Visa
      • Tier 2 Sportsperson Visa
      • Tier 2 Visa Resident Labour Market Test
      • Tier 2 visa switching from another visa scheme
      • Tier 2 Visa Government fees from 29 March 2019
    • Tier 3 Visa – Never Implemented and discontinued
    • Tier 4 Student Visas
      • Tier 4 Visa for International Students
    • Tier 5 Visa for Temporary Workers
      • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Charity Worker) visa
      • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Creative and Sporting) visa
      • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Government Authorised Exchange) visa
      • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – International Agreement) visa
      • Tier 5 (Temporary Worker – Religious Worker) visa
      • Tier 5 Youth Mobility visa
    • Who needs a UK Tier 2 Work Visa or other visa?
  • Non Tier UK Business visas
    • UK Innovator Visa
    • UK Start Up Visa
    • UK Sole Representative of an overseas business visa
    • UK Turkish Businessperson visa
  • UK Visitor Visas
    • UK Standard Visitor visa
    • UK Permitted Paid Engagement visa
    • Who needs a UK visitor visa?
  • UK Family Visas
    • UK Family of a settled person visa
      • UK Marriage visa (Family of a Settled Person Visa) tips
      • UK Fiancé visa (Family of a Settled Person Visa) tips
    • EEA Family Permit and UK Residence Card
    • UK Parent of a Tier 4 child visa
    • British Ancestry visa
    • UK Entry Clearance Guide
    • EU, EEA and Swiss Nationals Working in the UK
  • UK Permanent Residence and UK Citizenship
    • UK Permanent Residence/Indefinite Leave to Remain
    • UK Citizenship and Naturalisation – How to apply
      • Children Born Outside The UK
        • The British Nationality Act 1981
        • British Citizenship By Descent Or Otherwise
        • Children born outside the UK/qualifying territory
        • UK Children of parents in Crown and similar services
        • Children who will not be British citizens
        • List of Crown and services
      • Right of Abode (UK)
    • Long Residence in UK