Are you an EEA national?

Last modified: 19 September 2016

You are a European Economic Area (EEA) national if you are a citizen of one of the following countries. If you have permanent residence in, but not citizenship of, any of these countries, you are not an EEA national:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway are EEA member states, but they are not members of the European Union (EU). Nationals of EEA countries have the same freedom of movement rights as the majority of EU citizens. The UKs EEA regulations extend the free movement rights to all EEA and Swiss nationals.

Switzerland is not a member of the EU or the EEA. However since 1 June 2002, Swiss nationals have had rights which are similar to those of nationals of EEA countries. The information in this area of the website applies to both EEA and Swiss nationals.

Dual citizens

Last modified: 11 February 2016

If you are a citizen of one of the countries listed above, other than the UK, and also have citizenship of another non-EEA country, you will be able to come to the UK under European law. In addition, your family members (if they are eligible to join you) will also be able to come to the UK with you or to join you, if they meet other criteria.

EEA country and a non-EEA country

If you are a citizen of one of the EEA countries, but not the UK,  and you also have citizenship of another non-EEA country, you will be able to come to the UK under European law. In addition, your family members (if they are eligible to join you) will also be able to come to the UK with you or to join you, if they meet other criteria.

UK and another EEA country

The UK government amended their EEA regulations to define an EEA as a ‘national of an EEA state who is not also a British citizen’. This was following a case heard at the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) which stated that in order for an EU national to benefit from EU law, they had to exercise their right to reside in another EEA state of which they are not a citizen.

Therefore, unless you are a British citizen who has exercised a right to reside in another EEA country of which you are not a citizen (and meet other requirements) you will not benefit from EU law. This is likely only to be important to you if you would like to bring your non-EEA family members to the UK under EU law.


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