Skip to content

Can EU Citizens work in the UK?




    Regardless of the vote to leave the EU, the UK will remain a bona-fide member of the EU until Article 50 negotiations are completed. What this implies is that most citizens of countries in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland will have legal rights to live and work in the UK under stipulated European law. European nationals are also able to bring their family with them to live in the UK. Inorder, to be able to live in the UK nationals of these countries should show evidence of their ability to support themselves and their families financially without having to rely on public funds.

    Those working in the UK should do well to register with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and are liable to pay income tax and national insurance contributions if their income is above the tax-free minimum.

    Working in the UK

    Note that European citizens who have the right to live in the UK are, with certain exceptions, are still able to work in the UK and do not require a visa or work permit in order to do so. European nationals equally have the same rights as UK citizens with regards to this, and employers must treat them with dignity. That’s why any employer who treats an EEA or Swiss worker badly because he hails from outside the UK is guilty of discrimination.

    Related Post:Canada Student Visa Requirements:Processing time and Renewal

    Also EEA nationals and their family members can be employed, self-employed or begin their own business ventures in the UK. Assuming the family members of an EEA national exercises his right to live in the UK but are not themselves EEA or Swiss nationals, they will be expected to apply for an EEA family permit before they are able to travel to the UK.

    Staying in the UK

    There is a provision that allows EU nationals who have lawfully lived in the UK for at least five years automatic permanent residence. Eventually after six years, EU nationals who have lived continuously and legally in the UK are able to apply for British citizenship.

    Croatian Nationals

    As a result of  the transitional plans that were put in place when Croatia became a member country of the EU in 2013,Croatian nationals may be required to apply for a registration certificate inorder to be allowed to work in the UK. This will depend largely on whether they require permission to work in the UK, and what they will be doing as well. Nonetheless, applications will continue to be reviewed and accessed as usual, despite the current Brexit situation.

    Document required to work in the UK

    If you want to find out if a potential employee has the right permission to work in the UK and what documents employers usually check, or if you want to determine which documents you, as an employee are expected to produce to prove you’re eligible to work in the UK, please see link here.

    Starting from 2008, a number of changes were made to the UK immigration process. One of such was the introduction of a points-based application system for nationals of other countries who wish to enter into the UK for work purposes. In addition to introducing a points system for people applying to work in the UK, the new system also redefined a number of the existing work categories.

    Tier 1 – Highly Skilled Workers

    Tier 1 applies majorly to highly skilled nationals, investors, entrepreneurs and graduates of UK tertiary institutions. The previous system for this category of worker came to an end on 29 June 2008. As a result, applicants under Tier 1 are expected to achieve at least 75 points for age, qualifications etc and 10 points each for English language skills and available funds.

    Applicants in Tier 1 are able to switch to a different immigration category and may bring dependents with them.

    Related Post:Schengen Visa and Countries

    Tier 2 – Skilled Workers

    This tier applies mainly to sponsored skilled workers with special job skills who are needed in the UK due to a shortage of that type of worker. This new tier replaced many of the previous work permit categories and came into force in November 2008. Religious ministers and sports people able to apply under this category. General workers in Tier 2 will will require a total of 70 points made up of 50 points for qualifications, salary etc and 10 points each for funds and English language abilities.

    Workers in Tier 2 are able to switch to another immigration category and can bring dependents with them.

    Tier 3 – Low-skilled Workers

    This immigration category is meant to provide workers to fill up a short-term gap in the labour market. Note that workers in this category are not able able to switch to another immigration category and cannot bring dependents to the UK. This Tier is currently in operation as at October 2008.

    Tier 4 – Students

    This category was implemented in spring 2009 and introduced stricter requirements for foreign nationals wishing to study in the UK. Students are able to switch to a different immigration category and can bring dependents but dependents may not be able to work if the student’s permission to stay is for less than 12 months.

    Tier 5 – Youth Mobility and Temporary Workers

    This Tier is for a range of temporary workers including au pairs, students on gap years and voluntary workers. This category was introduced in November 2008. Applicants in most categories of workers are taken care of by this Tier and will need 40 points divided between sponsorship and available funds.

    Workers in this Tier are not able to switch to a different immigration category and dependents are allowed but may not work if the temporary worker is legally allowed to be in the UK for less than 12 months.

    Related Post:How to Apply for France Student Visa: Cost of Visa and Requirements

    You cannot copy content of this page