Introduction to EU Citizenship in UK
“The transition period will soon be over, and the United Kingdom will be out of the European Union on 1 January 2020. With it, the freedom of movement for will also end. In this news article, we will discuss what is the Freedom of Movement for EU Citizenship in UK and what will happen at the end of the Transition Period“.
Read Time: 6 minutes
What is on this Page?
- Introduction to EU Citizenship in UK
- What is EU Citizenship in UK
- Rights under EU Citizenship in UK
- Rights of Self Employed/Employed Union Citizens
- Family Members of an EU Citizens
- Important Condition for EU Citizenship in UK
- Non-EU nationals living in the European Union
- Death /Departure of the Union citizen
- The separation between EU nationals
- A divorce between EU nationals
- Further rights
- EU Workers’ Rights
- Part-Time EU Worker
- Unpaid Worker/Charitable work/ Rehabilitation work
- Loss of Job (EU Worker)
- Job Seekers EU Worker
- EU Worker’s Rights
- Important Procedural Rights (EU Worker)
- Surinder Singh Rule
What is EU Citizenship in UK
Under the existing Immigration laws, every citizen of 28-member states of European Union (soon to be 27) holds a “Union Citizenship”, which is in addition to EU Citizenship in UK granted to them by being national of a particular State.
- Mark a British National is a British citizen and Union Citizen as well at the same time, similarly, a Polish national is a Polish citizen but also holds additional citizenship of the European Union.
- Carla is a German citizen living in the UK she is also “Union Citizen”.
Rights under EU Citizenship in UK
“Union Citizenship”, allowed right of free movement within the Member States, right of permanent residence for Union citizen and his/her family members, right to work as an employee or self-employed, grants right of same social and tax advantage as that to a national worker and right of equal treatment.
All Citizens of 28-member state and their family (including EU and non-EU family members) for EU Citizenship in UK have a right to leave their home state and move to or reside in any other Member State for;
- 3 months without any conditions to meet
- But must hold a valid Identity card or passport (for both EU and Non-EU dependent family members)
- No Welfare benefits in the host Member State
- For economically inactive Union Citizens to stay, over 3 months they must not be dependent on Host State’s Social Security System and must be self-sufficient and hold comprehensive Sickness/Medical Insurance.
- An EU national Student who wants to stay for more than 3 months must make a declaration of “sufficient resources”.
- Member states are not obliged to provide for maintenance grants and student loans to a person who is not a worker, self-employed or part of a family of such worker or self-employed.
- In the limited circumstance, an EU Student can obtain student loan and grants who have resided in host state lawfully and is sufficiently integrated into the host State’s society
- Steve, his wife and Children are British national, they can move to any country for up to three months without any conditions to fulfil.
- Ahmad is a British national but his wife is still Indian national and has not acquired the British nationality yet, Both Ahmad and his wife can visit any Member State although his wife is still Indian national, all she needs is to accompany Ahmad and hold a valid Indian Passport which includes an entry clearance.
- Steve and his wife, economically inactive couple decided to stay for more than three months in Italy and want to make Italy a permanent home, they must have sufficient resources to support themselves. They must not be a burden on Italy’s Social Welfare System and must have a Comprehensive Sickness Insurance.
- Linda Polish national who wishes to move to London and study a degree in Accountancy, she will not be entitled to a student loan or any grant in the UK
- Patricia a Polish national, living in London is a family member of a worker or self-employed person, she is entitled to a student loan
Rights of Self Employed/Employed Union Citizens
The Self-employed and employed citizens and their family members (both EU national and Non-EU national family members) have a right to stay over 3 months in a host Member State for the EU Citizenship in UK .
Family Members of EU Citizens
Family members mean,
- Spouse, registered partner, direct descendants under 21 years of age.
- Dependents, dependent direct relatives.
Important Condition for EU Citizenship in UK
The Rights granted under “Union Citizenship”, can only be exercised when a national of a one-member State moves to another Member State.
- Anna has moved from Romania to the UK, she can now (while in the UK) exercise her right of free movement under “Union Citizenship”
- Steve a British national Moves to Spain, he can exercise “Union Citizenship” rights in Spain.
- Shelly a British national while living in the UK is a “Union Citizen” but she cannot rely on these rights as she has not moved from the UK to any other member state.
Non-EU nationals living in the European Union
Nationals of Countries from Non-European Area do not hold any “Union Citizenship” rights while living in any member state under any other immigration status, for example, nationals of non-EU countries on Work Visas, Student Visas or Indefinite Leave to remain. They may have limited rights given to them in Directive 2004/38 as dependents which are discussed below.
- Ahmad a Pakistani national is on Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, he will not be considered as “Union Citizen” and cannot rely on the “Union’s Citizenship” rights
- Deepika an Indian national on a work permit will not be considered as “Union Citizen” and cannot rely on the “Union’s Citizenship” rights in any 28 member states.
Death /Departure of the Union citizen
The rights of family members and dependent of a Union citizen are not affected by the death of Union Citizen” or his/her leave from host State provided they are in work or have sufficient means and are not dependent on Host State’s Social Security System
Where the family members or dependents are non-EU national, they can live in host State after the death or departure of Union Citizen provided they have lived together in the host state for at least for 1 year but they must be in work or have sufficient resources and Comprehensive Sickness Insurance
- Frank, Anna and family are Italian nationals living in the UK for some time, Frank decides to leave the UK or dies, Anna and family members can still live in the UK, provided they are either in work or have sufficient resources to stay in the UK without being a burden on UK’s Social Security System.
- Ahmad an Italian national and his Indian wife and family who are living in the UK for at least 1 year, on the death or departure of Ahmad, his wife and family members can still live in the UK provided they are either in work or have sufficient resources to stay in the UK without being a burden on UK’s Social Security System.
Separation between EU nationals
The separation between the couple has no impact on the rights
- Anna and Frank are now separated that does not have any impact on the Citizenship Rights of both Frank and Anna
A divorce between EU nationals
Divorce, annulment of marriage, or termination of a registered partnership have some effect on rights. If the partner is EU national have (EU Citizenship in UK) their rights are generally unaffected provided they are either in work or have sufficient resources to stay in the UK without being a burden on UK’s Social Security System
For a non-EU partner to retain the rights the marriage or partnership must have lasted for at least 3 years including 1 year in the host State or the spouse/ partner has the custody of a Union Citizen’s children or if there are special circumstances such as a victim of domestic violence, the non-EU National partner can retain the rights in these circumstances provided he/she is either in work or have sufficient resources to stay in the UK without being a burden on UK’s Social Security System.
- Patricia and Frank are Italian national living in the UK, upon the divorce, the EU partners can stay in the UK provided they are either in work or have sufficient resources to stay in the UK without being a burden on UK’s Social Security System
- Ahmad is British national and his wife Deepika an Indian national living in Spain for just over 1 year but they are married for more than three years, Upon Divorce Deepika can continue living in Spain as they are married for at least 3 years and are living in Spain for at least 1 year, provided Deepika is working or have sufficient resources to stay in Spain without being a burden on Spain’s Social Security System
- The family members have a right to take up employment or self-employment
- The right of equal treatment
- Union Citizens have the same Social and Tax advantage as that of the nationals of the host State
- Right of permanent residence after 5 years, this right is unaffected by temporary absences of up to 6 months
- The right to the permanent residence can be lost only through absence exceeding 2 years
- Right to vote and to stand as a candidate in the election to the European Parliament and municipal elections in Member State of residence
- Right to apply to Ombudsman
- The requirement to report the arrival within a reasonable time and register with authorities
- Non-EU family members must apply for and be issued with a residence card
EU Workers’ Rights
A Citizen of 28 member states has EU Citizenship in UK also has citizenship rights and also holds worker’s rights as well, which ensures an equal treatment, prohibits any discrimination, based on nationality, wages or any other employment conditions which are disadvantageous to a union worker.
The Union worker has the same working rights as that of national of the country
- Steve is a British national working in France. He holds the same working rights as the French national worker
- Steve also holds Union Citizenship rights along with Worker’s right
Part-Time EU Worker
A person working part-time but carrying out a genuine economic activity is entitled to free movement and other working rights granted to a full-time worker under the rules of EU Citizenship in UK .
Unpaid Worker/Charitable work/ Rehabilitation work
Even where there are no formal wages are paid, an individual may still be classified as worker provided the work involved is an effective genuine economic activity or work.
Loss of Job
Under the rules for EU Citizenship in UK Where an EU worker, working in another member state loses his job or is no longer on the job or is self-employed may still retain the rights of worker or self-employed,
- Provided the individual is temporarily unemployed due to illness or accident
- Involuntarily unemployed after working for over a year
- Expiry of the fixed-term contract
- Registered as a job seeker
- Undertakes a vocational training related to previous employment
- Can take a vocational training which is not related to previous employment but only if the worker is involuntarily unemployed (did not leave the job by choice)
EU nationals having EU Citizenship in UK are entitled to enter or remain in another member state to find work but they cannot stay for indefinitely searching a job. The limit of stay is a maximum of 3 months unless he/she can prove that.
- He/she is making genuine efforts to find work and have a real chance of getting employment
- The jobseeker must have sufficient resources including comprehensive Sickness/Medical Insurance to live on so as not to become a burden on the host State
- Job seekers and their family is not allowed to obtain any social security benefits
EU Worker’s Rights having EU Citizenship in UK
- Right to freedom of movement for the worker and his/her family for more than 3 months
- Right to freedom of movement for a self-employed worker
- Freedom to establish or manage a business or practice a profession permanently
- Rights of permanent residence for worker and family members after 5 years
- Freedom from Discrimination direct or indirect
- Same Social and Tax advantage as a national worker
- Right of equal treatment
- Mutual Recognition of qualification
- However, the access to jobs in public service are excluded and a member state may restrict or deny access to employment in public service on grounds of nationality
Important Procedural Rights (EU Worker)
- Right to be notified of a decision made by a Public body
- Right to know the grounds/reasons on which the decision is based
- Right to Appeal
- Right to remain in the host member state while Appeal is pending
- Right to apply to lift the exclusion orders made based on Public Policy, after three years where there has been a material change in circumstances
Surinder Singh Rule
Where a Union citizen moves to another member state, working for at least three months and is directly joined by his family or dependent (non-EU national, from outside the 28 member States) in that member state, on returning to the member state of which he is national to pursue an activity there as an employed or self-employed person, he/she can bring his/dependent and family member with him/her without obtaining any entry clearance for the family members.
- Frank a British national moved to work as an employee or self-employed in Spain. He has been joined by his Nigerian family members directly in Spain. Upon return to the UK, Frank can bring in his family members along with him to the UK although they may not have an entry clearance obtained from the UK home office.
These rights are subject to limitation and conditions on the grounds of Public policy for EU Citizenship in UK , public security and public health. A member state can deny the “Union Citizenship” rights on these grounds. Member states have a right to expel or deport a worker and a Union Citizen where his conduct represents a “present” threat to the requirements of public policy or public security. Any criminal behaviour will also affect the rights of the worker.
However, previous criminal convictions will not in themselves provides reasons for the exclusion of rights under public security and public policy
On 1 January 2021, if there is no further arrangement or agreement between the United Kingdom and the EU, all rights and obligations stated above will cease to exist. However, if the United Kingdom and EU agree to a deal, in that instance, the future rights and obligations are yet remained to be seen. Meanwhile, every EU citizen and worker living in the UK has been allowed to register their immigration status as pre-settled or settled. You can register yourself here.