EEA | EU Immigration
European Union (EU) and European Economic Area (EEA) citizens living in the UK can make applications for a registration certificate, permanent residence document, and British citizenship.
As an EU citizen, you are however currently not required to apply for any documents to prove that you can live in the UK unless you want to apply for British citizenship or want to sponsor your partner’s visa application.
Here’re the different categories that can you make an application under EU Law as an EEA national.
- Registration certificate – EEA National
- Permanent Residence – PR for EEA National
- EEA family permit from outside the UK
- Residence Card as family member or extended family member of an EEA National
- Retained Right Of Residence as family member of an EEA National
- Derivative Residence Card as a primary carer
- Settled and Pre-Settled Status
Settled Status in the UK refers to the immigration status granted to eligible EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members, who were living in the UK before the end of the Brexit transition period (December 31, 2020). It allows individuals to continue living and working in the UK without any immigration restrictions. Settled Status is part of the UK government’s EU Settlement Scheme, which was introduced to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members residing in the UK after Brexit. Once granted Settled Status, individuals are granted the right to stay indefinitely in the UK and enjoy various benefits and services.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK is an immigration status that grants an individual the right to live and work in the country without any time restrictions. ILR is also known as settlement or permanent residency. It allows individuals to stay in the UK for an indefinite period and provides them with a wide range of benefits, such as access to public funds, healthcare, and education.
It allows individuals to sponsor their family members for visas, including spouses, children, and parents. ILR holders have the right to access public funds and social benefits in the UK.
General Overview of EEA / EU Immigration
Nationals of all EEA (European Economic Area) countries, and also those of Switzerland, have immigration rights under European law and are allowed to come to the UK without any visa or form of permission. These immigration rights under European law are called “free movement” rights.
If such an EEA national comes to the UK to work or study or is financially self-sufficient, they are considered to be “exercising Treaty rights” in the UK under European law, ie they are exercising their immigration legal rights as provided by the EC Treaty.
Their family members (spouse/civil partner, unmarried partner, parents, grandparents, children under the age of 21) also have immigration rights under European law, even if they are not citizens of one of the relevant European countries. But, in general, such non-EEA family members may require visas to enter the UK or to easily prove their status as family members.
A European visa applied for from outside the UK is called an “EEA Family Permit” and a European visa applied for in the UK is called an “EEA Residence Card”.
In some ways, European law is less stringent than UK immigration law and the various requirements may be easier for applicants to meet. There is, for example, no English language requirement under European law, and there are no financial/accommodation requirements to be met.