Home > Workers > EU Citizens Working in the UK

EU Citizens Working in the UK

By: Louise Smith, barrister - Updated: 24 Jun 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 im british but my partner is from the czech republic we aren't married but we have two children who are also british. my partner has lived in the uk since 2001 and does have a national insurance number. I was just wondering what she has to do with brexit coming up she has a czech identity card and not a passport. Do we have to apply for british citizenship for her or does she automatically qualify to live. look forward to hearing from you
ace4grrace - 20-Jun-19 @ 10:20 PM
Please l 'm planning toresettle in UK,as l have spent my 8 yearsin deutschland, but am seriouslyconfusedabout thisBrexist or whateveryou guys called it, do l needmore informationbeforemaking move.
Francisco - 16-May-19 @ 7:15 AM
I live in UK since 2001, do I need to have a passport or British passport to live in UK?
Rick - 10-Apr-19 @ 1:04 PM
I have Italian passport and lived and worked in UK for over 55 years. What is my status after Brexit? Am I still classed as ‘settled status’ given length of time I’ve been here? Can I have both UK and Italian passport?
Teresa - 5-Apr-19 @ 9:39 AM
@Goldie - If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain you will not need to apply for settled status however if you have Permanent Residency which is under EU law you will need to apply for settled status as this will become invalid after Brexit.
TJ. - 27-Mar-19 @ 9:09 AM
I have had ILR for over 20 years.Do I still need to apply for settled status? The current citizenship application process is convoluted and expensive - will this be streamlined with the settled-status system? Thank you
Goldie - 26-Mar-19 @ 5:19 PM
@Basharat - The UK is not part of Schengen and therefore you will require a visa to visit another EU country depending on whether your nationality requires a visa to visit those countries.
TJ. - 21-Mar-19 @ 9:23 AM
I have 5 years visa in Uk Do I need visato goEurope
Basharat - 21-Mar-19 @ 12:52 AM
@Vince you will still be able to move to the UK without any restriction until December 2020 whether there is a Brexit deal or not.
TJ. - 19-Mar-19 @ 8:53 AM
I have an italian passport and I would like to live in England in 2020, will I Need visa or permission from UK authorities?
Vince - 18-Mar-19 @ 9:21 PM
Hi I'm a Norwegian that have a girlfriend who's family are British. I'm looking to try and find work close to where she lives but all this brexit mess. Been trying to read up on what I need to do but I can't make heads or tails of it.
CA - 5-Mar-19 @ 10:27 PM
I'm middle eastern who's married to an EU national and we moved to the UK in September 2018. I'm on Tier 2 General Visa and work for a University. My EU husband works in private industry without any particular visa or work permit. Here is my question: I want to quit my job and take up another position in a private company. Am I still eligible to work in the UK as a non-EU spouse of N EU citizen? what type of visa do I need? Is it a dependant visa? Can I seek employment with a dependant visa? Or my target company should apply for a license and apply for my visa? Thank you
ShadMan - 28-Feb-19 @ 9:07 AM
What about those EU who have been staying for 2-3yeats only ..are these allowed to come and work still,after brexiting.? What aboutif they come to finish few jobs , like 10 yo 12 jobs a year, each of about 2weeks? Will they be able to continue?
ANA - 25-Feb-19 @ 12:36 AM
@Nina - You have the right to live and work in the UK without any restrictions. Your husband can apply for an EEA family permit even before you find work as long as you are self sufficient. Once the EEA family permit is approved you should both apply for National insurance numbers
TJ. - 23-Feb-19 @ 9:09 PM
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
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Bev50uk
    Re: New Rules for South African Visitors to the UK
    I have a very dear friend in SA who i would love to come live here in my home in England. I can get her a…
    25 June 2019
  • CazP
    Re: Applying for a British Passport
    I was born in the UK and have lived here all my life. Other than a1yr passport when I was eleven years old I have never held…
    23 June 2019
  • Nora
    Re: Marrying a UK Citizen
    I'm married to a Gambian man i live there with his family I'm back in England now and he wants to be able to provide change for his family…
    22 June 2019
  • ace4grrace
    Re: EU Citizens Working in the UK
    hi im british but my partner is from the czech republic we aren't married but we have two children who are also british. my…
    20 June 2019
  • Zeeshan
    Re: UK Policies on Illegal Immigrants
    Hi I have live in uk for almost 13 years I am overstayed on my student visa I just wanna know is there any new rules coming…
    19 June 2019
  • Deen
    Re: UK Immigration Rules: Visas and Overstayers
    My brother is overstaying in Uk almost a year now, how can I help him, I leave to remain in uk. He needs help
    17 June 2019
  • RosyAli
    Re: Extradition and the UK
    My partner was extradited from the UK to the USA but all charges were dropped. Would he now be able to return to the UK as he has a life…
    17 June 2019
  • Besh
    Re: Applying for UK Travel Documents
    Hello there. I’m a refugee with leave to remain. I have applied for a travel document last year on 14/06/2018. I got a…
    16 June 2019
  • PAT
    Re: Applying for UK Travel Documents
    Hi. I have refugee settlement and applied for renewal of my travel document in November 2018. Up until now I haven't recieved…
    16 June 2019
  • Zaman
    Re: Applying for UK Travel Documents
    Hi my name is akhtar I have applied for travel documents 25 days ago and I did not receive any confirmation letter or email…
    15 June 2019