Nationals of the member states of the European Union benefit from more favourable provisions of immigration law than nationals of other countries.
It is important to realize, however, that not all EU nationals are in the same position – in some cases there are special provisions.
- Nationals of European Union Member States: The EEA (European Economic Area) includes all EU states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway and, for immigration purposes, Switzerland. Since 1 January 2014, Romanian and Bulgarian nationals are also included without restrictions.
- Croatia: Nationals of Croatia, the most recent member of the European Union, can since 1 July 2013, apply for a worker registration certificate and no longer have to rely on the Association Agreements with the European Union. Other rights, including rights to work in self-employment in the UK, are as for other EU nationals, although be aware that some of these rights depend on the EU national working, rather than just being, in the UK. Existing limitations on the right to work in the UK will be lifted from 1 July 2018.
- ECAA – Turkey: Although Turkey is not a Member State of the European Union its nationals can benefit from European Community Association Agreements (ECAA) between the European Union and Turkey.
Gherson has many years of experience in European cases and cases under the Association Agreements. Contact us to discuss your requirements and how we can help you with your case.
Important note: Following a referendum on 23 June 2016, 51.9% of British voters voted in favour of leaving the European Union.
The mechanism for leaving the EU, set out in Article 50 of the Treaty on the European Union (the Lisbon Treaty), requires the UK to formally give notice of its intention to leave, triggering a two year period after which its membership of the EU will cease.
The UK government has pledged to engage Article 50 by March 2017. The UK remains a member of the EU throughout this process, however, and the rights of EEA nationals will remain guaranteed until the UK formally leaves the EU.
It is expected that transitional arrangements will be made regarding the status of EEA citizens for when the UK does leave the EU. The nature and scope of such arrangements remain unknown to date.
If you have any queries or concerns about this process, please contact a member of our team.