European Community

EC Workers - The EC was enlarged in 2004 with ten Accession States, and is now enlarged again with two more states - Bulgaria and Romania. If you are a national of any one of the ten countries listed below (under the 2004 heading), then you will be able to come and work in the UK without any problems.


However, for Bulgaria and Romania employers must obtain a Work Permit after which the worker must apply to the Home Office for an "Accession Worker card". Self Employment will be allowed for all new member states. 

Nationals of Switzerland are also accepted for employment study or business in the UK on the same basis as EC nationals 

Students can apply for a residence permit, which will be limited to the period of the course, but on taking full employment here, a 5 year residence can be applied for. 

Retirement in the UK is also possible for members of the EC. It is important that they can show that they have become pensioners in their own country, and can transfer their pension payments to the UK

Financial Independence I.e. Having sufficient money to live on without working or claiming state benefits can also lead to a residence of the UK for EC nationals. 

Family Dependants (Parents, grandparents, children, brothers and sisters) of EC workers are allowed to come and live in the UK with the EC worker. If they do not have an EEC passport, a Visa (Family Permit) will be needed. BUT From 30 April 2006, dependants who do not hold an EC passport who normally have to get a visa to come to the UK, and who are only visiting the UK with the EC passport holder (who is also visiting) for no longer than 6 months DO NOT REQUIRE A UK VISA. It must be clear that only a visit is intended, and it will be helpful to show dated return tickets if the visa waiver for dependants is to be used. 

EC Countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Iceland*, Italy, Liechestein*, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway* Portugal, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom. *EEA Countries. 

Accession States (2004): Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia

New Accession States (2007): Bulgaria, Romania. (2013): Croatia.

Treated as an EC Country: Switzerland.

For more detailed advice, please contact us.