In this guide, we outline the rights EEA residents have to live and work in the UK, as well as the social benefits you may be entitled to.
Who are EEA Nationals?
Nationals of following countries are EEA residents:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.
What Rights do EEA Nationals Have to Live and Work in the UK?
EEA Nationals can enter the UK subject to their passport or identity card check. EEA Nationals have the right to reside in the UK, initially for 3 months when they don’t need to exercise their treaty right.
If an EEA national lives in UK for more than 3 months then he or she will have the right of residence, as long as he or she remains a qualified person. A qualified person is one who is either seeking employment in the UK or is a worker (full time or part time) in the UK.
If you are a job seeker, then you need to show evidence that you are seeking a job in the UK and you have a fair chance of getting one. To prove this you need to show evidence of job interviews, qualifications, and registration with Job Centres or recruitment agencies in the UK.
If you are working in UK, then you must be able to show evidence that you are in full time or part time employment – such as a copy of your contract or pay slips.
EEA Nationals, Work and Benefits
EEA nationals get access to social benefits. Your right of access social benefits in UK depends on your work record in the UK and it may differ depending on whether you are currently working, currently working but for low hours or for low pay, have retired after working, have worked but are currently unemployed or sick, or you have never worked in the UK but you came here looking for work.
You may sometimes keep your worker status in the UK if you have worked in UK and lost your job or have become unable to work for some specific reasons. If you came to UK looking for a job, as an EEA national you have the right to reside in UK but you cannot claim income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) during the first 3 months in the UK. If you worked in the UK but lost your job for reasons that are not your fault, then you are involuntarily unemployed. As an involuntarily unemployed EEA national, if you have registered as a jobseeker then you have the right to reside in UK.
To prove that you are an EEA worker you simply need to show the evidence of your nationality and evidence of your employment in UK. If you are self-employed you need to show the evidence that you are self-employed.
If you need any help on proving that you are an EEA worker in the UK, then please contact us.