Home > Workers > EU Citizens Working in the UK

EU Citizens Working in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 22 Feb 2019 | comments*Discuss
Eu Citizens Working In The Uk

Despite the vote to exit the EU, the UK will still remain a member of the EU until Article 50 negotiations have concluded. This means most citizens of countries in the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have the right to live and work in the UK under European law. European nationals may also bring their family with them to live in the UK. However, to exercise the right to live in the UK nationals of these countries must be able to support themselves and their families without having to rely on public funds.

Anyone working in the UK must register with Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs and are liable to pay income tax and national insurance contributions provided their income exceeds the tax-free minimum.

Working in the UK

European nationals with the right to live in the UK are, with certain exceptions, are still entitled to work in the UK and do not need to obtain a visa or work permit in order to do so. European nationals have the same rights as UK citizens in this respect, and employers must treat them equally. An employer who treats an EEA or Swiss worker differently purely because he is not from the UK is guilty of discrimination.

EEA nationals and their family members can be employed, self-employed or start their own businesses in the UK. If the family members of an EEA national exercising his right to live in the UK are not themselves EEA or Swiss nationals they will have to apply for an EEA family permit before they travel to the UK.

Remaining in the UK

EU nationals who have lawfully resided in the UK for at least five years automatically have permanent residence. After six years, EU nationals who have lived continuously and lawfully in the UK are eligible to apply for British citizenship.

Croatian Nationals

Due to the transitional arrangements that were put in place when Croatia joined the EU in 2013,Croatian nationals may have to apply for a registration certificate to be allowed to work in the UK. This will depend on whether they need permission to work in the UK, and what they will be doing. Applications will continue to be processed as usual, despite the Brexit vote.

Document checks to work in the UK

To find out if a potential employee has the right to work in the UK and what documents employers should check, or if you want to find out which documents you, as an employee need to produce to prove you’re eligible to work in the UK, please see link here.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Hi TJ - I am an Australian & German citizen currently in the UK with my Australian husband. We are residing here on my EU passport, both of us are wanting to gain employment in 2019. What steps do I need to take in order for my husband and I to gain lawful employment? I do not have permanent right of residence and I do not have a job yet - I have started applying. Can my husband get his EEA family permit regardless? Hopelessly lost - Cheers in advance
Nina - 22-Feb-19 @ 1:25 PM
@marcdeluxe - If you do not live in the UK by 2020 your company will have to sponsor you for a visa to continue working.
TJ. - 26-Jan-19 @ 11:04 PM
I have worked in the UK since 1996, but have never lived there as I live in Italy, and work as Cabin Crew for a British airline. Can I still work in the UK after brexit even though I don't live in the UK?
marcdeluxe - 25-Jan-19 @ 2:18 PM
@Adi - You must register under the new settlement scheme being rolled out by the government. This is because the permanent residency you were granted in 1974 became void once you left the UK for more than 2 years in 1984. The £65 fee has now been waived by the government.
TJ. - 21-Jan-19 @ 4:51 PM
I am a EU passport holder and came to the uk in 1970, obtained a right to stay in 1974. I married a UK citinzien in 1971 and have children with British passport. We went to live in Italy in 1984 and returned to the uk in 1993. Do I need to register and pay £65? Or does original right to stay stands?
Adi - 21-Jan-19 @ 1:33 PM
@MGS - Once you have been in the UK for at least 5 years you will have to apply for settled status and thereafter apply for British citizenship. Your DNA will not help your application in any way
TJ. - 19-Jan-19 @ 11:56 AM
I am a portuguese citizen and I hold an european e-passport. I have been living and working in UK for 4 years and half as a nurse in NHS. It will turn five years on september of this year. What are the requirements to obtain british citizenship? I have done recently a dna test through Ancestry DNA website and it shown that I have got traces of british dna. I was wonder if that would make any difference regarding documentation.
MGS - 18-Jan-19 @ 5:50 PM
HelloI am an Swedish citizen working in ukat same company for 17 years in uk but living in Sweden for3years now . My husband is British and we have 2kids we married in uklived and had our first child there . 3years ago we decided to move to Sweden and now with brexit was wondering if I will lose my job because I don't live in uk anymore or can I apply for citizenship thurugh my husbands British citizenship
Lola - 18-Jan-19 @ 3:06 PM
I'm a EU passport holder and applying for a EEA permit for my husband. We have been told that if there's no deal for Brexit we are not allowed to enter the UK or liveor work in the UK after 29th March 2019 AND there will be no transition period? Please advise as the gov.uk site is only talking about pre settled and settled status and not accepting EU passport holders after the March 29th 2018 deadline.
Rosa - 7-Dec-18 @ 5:59 PM
Hello I have an EU passport and am registered with an NI number. I lived and worked in the UK many years again. I would love to come back and work for a few more years but I am unsure how Brexit changes things. Do I need to apply for a 2 year work Visa perhaps? Thank You
Maria - 30-Nov-18 @ 2:36 PM
I am British and my daughter has dual Italian and British citizenship. She is a nurse looking for work in the UK. My question is, can her Italian fiancé join her in the UK, to live and work, and would them marrying make it easier?
JMS - 26-Nov-18 @ 2:22 PM
hello just a simple question please.. European citizens are still entitled to work in the UK?? thank you ??
joey - 26-Nov-18 @ 8:33 AM
Hi we r a family of 5 from Sweden moved to uk 1995 my kids grow up here n now married or have partners with kids. At 1995 we needed indefinite to remain in uk cause Sweden just Joined EU so we have been told to Apply indefinite to remain Which we did however later we didn’t need to renew it as EU citizens. Now I wonder can we still using the old indefinite to remain to apply for a new one although it has expired long time ago. We still have our old passport n d cards given us at that time. Many thanks
Coco - 23-Nov-18 @ 10:08 AM
Thanks, Louise Smith for sharing your post. I came to the UK in July 2014 before the Brexit referendum. I am married to my British husband since 2001. I am a freelancer since 2015 a Consultant for Startups and the journey of making some income is not that easy. I am a German national I am in the minority of EU migrants. I thought okay I will give employment another chance I went to the Job Center and I was talking to a friendly Career Advisor who tweaked my CV and he took off some years of employment which are not relevant anymore. I am 49 and I had two interviews one with a London tech company age group 20 - 30and I really wasted a whole day in a group interview including skills tests for a simple Customer Care Agent role. No diversity by the way! Out of ten, they were at least 6 EU nationals from Rumania, Czech Republic, Africa, Caribbean, Scandinavia, India and three or four Britsh. I also applied for retail, Christmas sales staff, Translation, Admin just regular Office jobs. I was told by recruiters that I need to be in the UK 5 years or I need two years of UK working experience and so forth. UK companies will not employ EU nationals so simple is that because of Brexit and the uncertainty of employment laws. If a company owner voted for Brexit why should he/she hire an EU national of course not? That's the reality in the UK since the Brexit vote so I have no choice and continue as a freelancer and I hope to make some income for myself. My husband has a good income but that is not the point I try to create my own income. I also have a 13 years old daughter she has a British passport she and my husband are fine but I am worried about my situation next year it's all in Limbo!
Gaby - 14-Nov-18 @ 2:43 PM
I’m an EU citizen, What is the process to allow my husband (non EU) to travel to UK with us for settling down! We have funds & are self reliant! Please advise
Sasha - 13-Nov-18 @ 8:06 PM
@Jill - To work in the UK without restriction you will require a Polish national ID or passport.
TJ. - 9-Nov-18 @ 10:09 AM
In order to work in the UK, what EU citizenship documents must the worker have? I have a certificate of citizenship of Poland, but no Polish passport or ID. I am also an American citizen. Thanks
Jill - 9-Nov-18 @ 6:59 AM
Hi, I've been living with my husband in the UK for 6 years. I just heard that we will have apply for a residental permit. Where can we do it? Is it true at all??
Viki - 31-Oct-18 @ 7:29 AM
@Henry - Your wife will need to apply for a 5 year EEA family permit from the Home Office.
TJ. - 30-Oct-18 @ 10:27 AM
I hold Portuguese passport while my wife is not. I plan to stay in UK next year for 5 years until both my wife and myself get UK citizenship. As my wife travel by tour visit purpose only, my question is: which authority shall I approach once we landing UK, for the purpose of keeping my wife staying in UK?
Henry - 27-Oct-18 @ 4:42 AM
Hi i am italian citizen also my son had italian citizenship. But my wifehad italian pr under my italian citizenshipwhich mean member of European union. But still in October she got uk 6 month resident family permit which valid march2019.we want to move uk before brexit. If i find a job.can my wife get extension of 5 year resident permit.
Sonu - 13-Oct-18 @ 9:34 PM
Hello im a Greek citizen . my husband is Albanian (not EU citizen) but after marriage he received cars as husband of the Greek citizen . we want to came in UK. Please tell me does my husband need a visa ??? or he can come n UK only with passport associated with card as husband of Greek citizen ? Thank you
RafaXG - 10-Oct-18 @ 9:36 PM
@ncalickolli - EU citizens will be able to come to the UK to study, live and work without any restriction until 2020
TJ. - 4-Oct-18 @ 3:28 PM
I am a duel citizen (Italian and Australian), and I am planning to move to the UK by May 2019 (with my Italian passport), will I still be able to work and live in the UK at that time? Or will I have trouble entering the border from Australia?
ncalickolli - 4-Oct-18 @ 8:45 AM
@Luciano Coniglio - You will be able to come to the UK any time before 2021 without restriction
TJ. - 25-Sep-18 @ 11:00 AM
Hi, I'm Italian I need to know if I can live and work only with my passport in UK before march 2019 or 2021? thanks
Luciano Coniglio - 25-Sep-18 @ 2:27 AM
Hello, sorry for bode ring, i'm an EU citizen, will i be able to come and search for a job aftermarch 2019???? And when the restrictions for EU citizens will start? for those that want to search a job in UK??
Marcus - 23-Sep-18 @ 8:37 PM
@Cicilia - It would be easier for you if you just apply for a Permanent Residency card and British citizenship.
TJ. - 22-Sep-18 @ 2:28 PM
Hi, I am a EU citizen living in the UK. I have lived here for 11 years.Once Brexit comes into effect is it possible for me to live 5-6 months outside of England but to also come back 5-6 months of the year to work temporarily? Would appreciate any feedback on this Kindly Cicilia Heck
Cicilia - 22-Sep-18 @ 10:22 AM
@wittepiet - EU citizens can live, work and study in the UK without restrictions until 2021
TJ. - 19-Sep-18 @ 2:17 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Nina
    Re: EU Citizens Working in the UK
    Hi TJ - I am an Australian & German citizen currently in the UK with my Australian husband. We are residing here on my EU…
    22 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: Marrying a UK Resident
    @Siergoth - If you get married in Uruguay you can apply for a family visa as a spouse and come to the UK if you meet the requirements.…
    22 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: Marrying a UK Resident
    @sab - please follow this link for guidance. gov.uk/marriages-civil-partnerships/giving-notice-at-your-local-register-office
    22 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: Applying for Visas for Extended Family
    @Rich mcd - Your step daughter will not be able to apply for a family visa as a dependant because she is over 18. She…
    22 February 2019
  • Rich mcd
    Re: Applying for Visas for Extended Family
    Thank you for your reply. I am a little confused though because of the clause you mention above: "Children over the…
    22 February 2019
  • Siergoth
    Re: Marrying a UK Resident
    Hello,I am Uruguayan and my girlfriend is a UK citizen,if we get married in Uruguay,can I move there and work right away ?
    22 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: Applying for Visas for Extended Family
    @Rich mcd - Your step daughter cannot apply for a family visa as a dependant as she is over 18. She will have to…
    21 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: Applying for Visas for Extended Family
    @Annluv - If your sister and her children are truly dependant on your parents then she should apply for an EU family…
    21 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: The Citizenship Ceremony
    @Matt - Your girlfriend is an EU citizen allowed to live and work in the UK without any restrictions. Upon arriving in the UK she…
    21 February 2019
  • TJ.
    Re: Marrying a UK Citizen
    @kasia30 - You can only apply for British citizenship once you have been granted settled status.
    21 February 2019