The European Economic Area (EEA) & Swiss Nationals
The European Economic Area (EEA) consists of Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the UK.
Although Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland are not members of the European Union (EU), their citizens have the same rights as EU citizens which allows them to enter, live in and work in the UK without any permission to do so.
Registration Certificate is a document, issued to an EEA national, that confirms the holder’s right of residence under European law. EEA nationals do not need a registration certificate to be able to enter, live in or work in the UK.
Residence Cards are issued to EEA nationals’ family members who are not EEA nationals themselves. An endorsement (vignette) is placed in the passport which confirms the right of residence in the UK under European law. It is normally valid for a period of 5 years.
Permanent Residence, when an EEA or Swiss national or a family member of an EEA or Swiss national has lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, they can apply for confirmation of permanent residence. An endorsement (vignette) is placed in the passport which confirms the right of permanent residence in the UK under European law. It is normally valid for a period of 10 years.
EEA Family Permit is a form of entry clearance to the UK, EEA Family Permit’s are issued to non EEA nationals who enter the UK with their EEA family members or to join them in the UK.
Bulgaria and Romania Nationals
Bulgarian or Romania nationals can move to and live freely in any EEA state and they do not need permission to come to the UK. Bulgarian and Romanian nationals wishing to take up employment in the UK will need permission from the UK Border Agency, if undertaking self employment then permission is not required.
Bulgarian or Romania nationals who wish to undertake employment in the UK as an employee in most cases require permission, and may need to obtain an Accession Worker Card or can work under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme of the Sectors Based Scheme.
Accession Worker Card, in order for a Bulgarian or Romania national to be issued with a Accession Worker Card, their employer must apply for a work permit, once the work permit has been approved a letter of approval will be issued, at that stage the Bulgarian or Romania national can apply for the Accession Worker Card.
If the Bulgarian or Romania nationals require an Accession Worker Card and they have been offered a job before they come to the UK, they can apply for the document from outside the UK.
Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme, this scheme allows Bulgarian or Romanian nationals to do short-term agricultural work in the UK.
Sectors Based Scheme, this scheme allows Bulgarian or Romanian nationals to do low-skilled work in the UK’s food manufacturing sector.
If you are a non EEA family member of a Bulgaria or Romania national who is undertaking employment in the UK after being authorised to do so, you may apply for a Family Member Residence Stamp to confirm your right of residence under European Law.
Residence Cards are issued to Bulgaria or Romania nationals and their family members once they have completed a period of 12 months continues legal employment in the UK.