Eea Nationals, Employment Of
§  Add a note hereAlthough this will not normally be a matter for concern when it comes to employing a national of an EEA Member State, the immigration authorities do have the right to deny entry to the UK to any person (whether an EEA national0020or otherwise) who is considered to be 'undesirable'. Under section 8 of the Asylum & Immigration Act 1996, which came into force on 27 January 1997), an employer (director, manager or company secretary) commits an offence, and is liable to a fine of up to £5,000, if he (or she) employs any person who is either an illegal immigrant or who does not have the legal and subsisting right to seek or obtain employment during his or her stay in the United Kingdom. Add a note here
§  The following is a summary only of Home Office rules relating to the entry into and stay of persons in the United Kingdom. Those rules are to be found in the Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules (HC 395), notably paragraphs 255–262, laid before Parliament on 23 May 1994 under section 3(2) of the Immigration Act 1971. Copies of the Statement (ISBN 0 10 239594 2) may be purchased from The Stationery Office. When ordering the Statement, readers should take care to ask for copies of all subsequent amending statements.
Add a note hereKey points
§  Add a note hereUnder European Community law, an EEA national has a right of residence, that is to say, a right to live and work either in the UK or in any other Member State of the European Economic Area (EEA). That same right extends to citizens of Switzerland. To gain entry into the UK, an EEA or Swiss national need only produce a valid passport or national identity card. The person in question has no need of a work permit and (subject to certain rules) may be joined by his (or her) family and dependants once he has obtained employment. That right also extends to citizens of Switzerland who no longer need work permits in order to enter or take up employment in the UK.
§  Add a note hereAt the present time, the EEA comprises the 15 Member States of the European Union (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, the Irish Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Portugal and the UK) together with Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein.
§  Add a note hereAn EEA or Swiss national, with the right of residence, may remain in the UK for as long as he (or she) pleases and has no need to obtain a residence permit or register with the police. An EEA or Swiss national who chooses to do so may apply to the Immigration & Nationality Directorate (see address below) for a residence permit, although the latter, once issued, is little more than formal confirmation of the applicant's right of residence. A form of application will be supplied on request by the Directorate's Application Forms Unit (AFU) and must be returned to the AFU with two passport-sized photographs. A residence permit is normally valid for five years, but may be issued for a shorter period if the applicant is working or studying in the UK for less than 12 months. A residence permit will not normally be issued if the person has either not found employment at the end of six months or has become a charge on public funds.
§  Add a note hereA UK employer may engage the services of an EEA or Swiss national without formality, although he should ask to see the job applicant's passport or national identity card. The employer must not discriminate against any foreign employee by offering him (or her) less favourable terms and conditions of employment or subjecting him to any restriction by virtue of his nationality or national or ethnic origins.
§  Add a note hereAn EEA or Swiss national may settle his (or her) family and dependants in the UK and is entitled to claim social security benefits, and access to housing and property.
Add a note hereFurther information
§  Add a note hereFurther information about the rights of residence of EEA and Swiss nationals (and their family members) can be obtained by writing to:
Add a note hereImmigration & Nationality Directorate
Block C
Whitgift Centre
Wellesley Road
Telephone: 0870 241 0645
or by accessing the following website:
Add a note hereCitizens of the Irish Republic
§  Add a note hereIt should be noted that citizens of the Irish Republic have long since been admitted freely to the United Kingdom, whether coming from within or outside the Common Travel Area (which latter comprises the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man and the Irish Republic, collectively). However, there are circumstances in which the Secretary of State may exclude a particular person if the exclusion is conducive to the public good.