The European Union (EU) is an economic and political union of 27 countries. It operates an internal (or single) market which allows free movement of goods, capital, services and people between member states.
The EU countries are:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.
The European Economic Area (EEA)
The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. It allows them to be part of the EU’s single market.
Switzerland is not an EU or EEA member but is part of the single market. This means Swiss nationals have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
Citizens’ residence rights after the UK leaves the EU
If you or a family member are a citizen of an EU or EEA country who started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline to apply was 30 June 2021 for most people. You can still apply if either:
- you have a later deadline - for example, you’re joining a family member in the UK who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for being unable to apply by 30 June 2021 - for example, you had an illness or were the victim of domestic abuse
Check if you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you cannot apply, check what type of visa you’ll need to come to the UK.