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
There will be no change to the residence rights and status of EU citizens currently living in the UK until 30 June 2021.
If you’re living in the UK by 31 December 2020, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living here after 30 June 2021. If you come to the UK on or after 1 January 2021, you may need to apply for a visa.
You can read about the rights and status of UK nationals living in the EU after the UK leaves the EU.