Citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland have the right of free movement and residence in the UK. To enter the UK you do not need a visa but you will need a 10-year EEA passport or a valid national identity card, which will be checked by an immigration officer on your arrival in the UK.
If your family are EEA or Swiss nationals they can usually join you and enjoy similar rights. Non-EEA family members must get an EEA family permit before they travel to the UK if they are citizens of a country who always need visas to enter the UK, or if they are coming to stay for longer than six months. The family member should apply for this at the British Embassy or High Commission in their country of residence, before coming to the UK, Non-EEA nationals will need a visa or entry clearance for all stays in the UK over 6 months.
If you are a Swiss national or a national of a country in the EEA other than Bulgaria or Romania, you do not need a work permit to work in the UK.
Citizens of Bulgaria and Romania wanting to work in the UK will need permission to work as an employee in the UK before starting work. Generally you will need an offer of employment to obtain permission to work. If you are a national of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia or Slovenia and are planning to work in the UK for more than one month, you must register with the 'Worker Registration Scheme' (WRS). Self-employed workers do not need to register on the WRS, but must register with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) after arrival in the UK by phoning the Newly Self-Employed help line: Tel: 0845 915 4515.
If you have a right to live in the UK, you do not need a residence permit or need to register with the police. Should you wish, you can apply for a residence permit from the Home Office Border and Immigration Agency. This is valid for five years, confirms your right to live in the UK under European Community Law and allows you to apply for residence documents for eligible family members who are not EEA citizens.
Text last edited on: 12/2009
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