Understanding your right to work in the UK: EU, EEA and Swiss citizens

The Home office have recently issued guidance pertaining to rights to work in the UK for EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens.

Here’s what you need to know.

(Updated as of 12 February 2021)

What do I need to know about my right to work in the UK as an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen if I arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020?

You and your family must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you wish to continue living, working and studying in the UK after 30 June 2021. To be eligible, you must have already started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. Alternatively, you must be joining a close family member who holds status, or is eligible to apply to the scheme before 30 June 2021.

What do I need to know about the EU Settlement Scheme in relation to my right to work in the UK as an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen if I arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020?

Application to the scheme is free of charge and you need to complete a simple three-step process online via a mobile phone, tablet, or computer.

You will be granted either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled status’ if your application is successful. The status is dependent on how long you have been living in the UK at the stage of application. Status under this scheme will allow you to:

  • Travel in and out the UK
  • Access public funds such as pensions and benefits (if you are eligible)
  • Enrol in education / study in the UK
  • Use the NHS
  • Work in the UK

Work can commence before you have made an application, but you must make apply before the 30 June 2021 deadline.

Please note that if you do not apply before the deadline, you can lose existing rights in the UK including the right to live, work, rent and access free healthcare.

How do I prove my right to work in the UK as an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen if I arrived in the UK by 31 December 2020?

Until 30 June 2021, you can prove your right to work in the UK using your passport or national ID card.

If your application to the EU Settlement Scheme is successful, you will be granted online access to your immigration status. This can be used as proof of your right to work in the UK and can be done by using the online Right to Work service.

What do I need to know about my right to work in the UK as an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen if I arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020?

To live and work in the UK, you must have permission to do so under the UK’s points-based immigration system unless you are eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.

How do I get the right visa to work in the UK as an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen if I arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020?

In most instances, you will have to apply for and be granted a ‘Skilled Worker’ visa before coming to the UK. To be eligible:

  • Your job offer must be from an employer who can sponsor your visa application
  • You must be able to speak English to the required standard
  • The Job offer must be at the appropriate salary and skill level

How do I prove my right to work in the UK as an EU, EEA and Swiss citizen if I arrive in the UK after 31 December 2020?

You will have online access to your immigration status to prove your right to work in the UK if you have a visa under the points-based immigration system and an application was made using the UK Immigration: ID Check app. If you did not use this method, your biometric residence permit will enable you to use the online ‘Right to Work’ service.

Please note that you will not have the right to work in the UK if you:

  • Do not have a visa or status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • Entered the UK as a tourist

Please be advised that the above information is not exhaustive as there are more requirements and points to consider.

For more information provided by Bolton’s leading Immigration Solicitors on Understanding your right to work in the UK: EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, send an email to info@compasslaw.org.uk to book a telephone/Skype consultation. The fee is £30.

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