Immigration rules

See the information about immigration rules on this page for European Economic Area and non-European Economic Area citizens, and for the definition of a resident worker.

This information summarises some of the main points relating to immigration rules. For the full and latest official information, please visit the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) website.

European Economic Area citizens

For an individual in this category, no visa/certificate of sponsorship is currently required. The UK immigration points-based system does not apply because there is currently free movement of labour within the EU.

The UK remains a member of the EU until a date for exiting the EU is agreed, and the rights of EU citizens to live and work in the UK are currently unaffected until 31 December 2020. 

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and don't already have temporary or permanent leave to remain, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you will receive either pre-settled status or settled status. The EU settlement scheme launched fully in March 2019.

See up-to-date information for EU citizens and their families on the gov.uk website

Non-European Economic Area citizens

If you are not a British citizen, or a national of a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland, you will need a visa before you travel to the UK. To obtain a visa, you need to meet the requirements of UKVI, which is responsible for managing migration in the UK.

The points-based immigration system governs the way individuals from outside the EEA can work, train or study in the UK. Information for all new applications from non-EEA nationals can be found on the points-based system page of this website.

Some occupations are recognised by UKVI as 'shortage occupations'. If an occupation is on the national shortage occupation list, it means that there are not enough suitably qualified and skilled workers from the resident labour market to fill the available vacancies. In these instances, a non-EEA national may be appointed to the job if they meet all the eligibility criteria without the employer having to advertise to the resident labour market in the first instance. A full list of the shortage occupations can be found on the gov.uk website.

Definition of a resident worker

A resident worker is a person who is an EEA national or has settled status in the UK within the meaning of the Immigration Act 1971, as amended by the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, and the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002.

Member countries of the EEA include:

Nationals from Switzerland and their family members also have the same free movement and employment rights as EEA nationals.

UK/EEA citizens

If you are a British citizen, a Swiss national or a national of a country in the EEA, you do not currently need permission from the UKVI to work in the UK.

Turkish nationals (already residing in the UK)

If you are a Turkish national, you may benefit from the European Community Association Agreement (ECAA) with Turkey. The agreement provides Turkish nationals, who are already working legally in the UK, with certain rights when they need to extend their stay. If you meet the criteria set by the UKVI you will be issued with a vignette in your passport and receive a letter confirming your status. For further information, visit the UKVI website.

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