The European Union and European Immigration Laws

The European Union

The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of all member states of the European Union (EU) along with Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Members of the EU are free to come to the UK. They are able to visit, study and work for themselves or an employer. Nationals of these countries are not subject to immigration control as long as they are exercising there treaty rights.

In order to exercise these rights, an EEA national must be a qualified person. We have below provided a definition of a qualified person:

Workers
These include part-time workers and work-seekers, though the latter may be required to leave a Member State if they have not found employment and have no prospect of doing so within a certain period, usually six months.

Self-Employed
Those seeking to provide services in a Member State or those who travel to a Member State in order to receive services. The latter category includes tourists and ‘window-shoppers’. The right of residence is, however, tied in its duration to the time required to provide or seek the services in question.

Students
As long as they provide assurance, in the form of a declaration or otherwise, that they have sufficient funds not to become reliant on state benefits. In the case of students only spouses and children of a student also enjoy a (derived) right of entry and/or residence.

Retired persons
Those who have retired after working and/or living in the UK for more than three years, or who have to stop work after more than two years in the UK due to permanent incapacity, or who, irrespective of length of residence or work in the UK, have to retire because of an accident at work or an occupational disease are entitled to remain permanently, as are their dependants. Those who seek to retire to the UK, not having worked here, enjoy a right of residence only so long as they can demonstrate that they have health insurance and sufficient funds not to have to rely on benefits.

All Others
As long as they can show that they have sufficient funds not to become dependent on benefits and that they have health insurance.

Regulated by the OISC