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EU nationals – what are your rights while in the UK?

Update: As of January 2021, the rules for EU nationals living in the UK will change. To find out the latest information not covered in this blog post, please look at an up to date guide on our blog here.

As EU nationals, European members can benefit from full freedom of movement in the UK and in most cases, the right to work and study as well.

Only with ascension states will foreign nationals from these countries be required to apply for permission in order to work or study in the UK in the form of yellow and blue cards.

In all other cases, the EU national is entitled to work and live in the UK, with access to the NHS and other benefits that the country has to offer. There is debate at the moment as to whether or not this will be the case in the near future.

Normally, applicants will be granted a registration certificate that will confirm when they first arrived in the UK, after which, they may then be eligible for Permanent Residence. After a year of permanent residency, the applicant may then be eligible for UK naturalisation.

During the initial 5 years, EU nationals need to demonstrate that they are “exercising their EU treaty rights”. They can do this by working, being self-sufficient by holding comprehensive medical insurance, studying amongst a number other ways.

EU nationals also have the right to bring their family to the UK, as well as extended family members in some instances. This can include their durable partners and parents. Such applications can be quite complicated and it would be well-advised to instruct specialists to assist with the process.

It should be noted that applicants who wish to apply for Permanent Residence, they are not required to pass an English language test or pass the Life in the UK test; however they will need to pass these tests for the purpose of UK naturalisation.

In cases whereby EU nationals have committed a crime, the UK Home Office have the authority to remove them from here if their crime was of a more serious nature, often involving a custodial sentence. Often, the applicant will be given the right to appeal before removal.

For those who require further information on applying for a Registration Card, Family Permit, Residence Card, Permanent Residence or UK Naturalisation, please do not hesitate to contact one of our UK immigration specialists.

Westkin Associates


5th Floor, Maddox House,
1 Maddox Street
United Kingdom
0207 118 4546

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