EEA Residence Permit visa is designed for EEA nationals who wish to obtain the right to reside in the UK. In accordance with European Community Law, right of residence gives EEA nationals the legal right to live in the UK with the freedom to take any employment without the requirement of a Work Permit. However, there may be some circumstances where the applicants might need to register under the Worker Registration Scheme. It is not necessary for EEA Residence Permit holders to work during their stay in the country as long as they are able to support themselves without recourse to public funds. EEA Residence Permit is valid for the duration of five years and EEA nationals, after completing four years of this become eligible to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in the UK. Nationals who successfully obtain ILR also become eligible to apply for British naturalization.
EEA Residence Permit is considered as the simplest way to obtaining the right to live and work in the UK without needing to fulfill many eligibility requirements. The major benefits enjoyed by EEA Residence permit holders include:
- EEA nationals do not require a UK Work Permit to undertake any type of employment.
- Applications can be made independently rather jointly with a sponsoring company as is the case with the Work Permit.
- Applicants are not required to pass the points based system as is the case with the Tier System.
- EEA nationals are permitted to freely live and work in the UK along with any dependents.
- It is not necessary for EEA nationals to undertake employment in the UK as long as they are able to financially support themselves and any dependents without recourse to public funds.
EEA Residence Permit is usually granted to those who wish to come to the UK for a long period of time and it is unlikely to be granted if an individual is only planning on a short stay. In order to successfully obtain the EEA Residence Permit the applicant needs to fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
- They must prove they are a national of an EEA member’s country.
- Should be in the position to support themselves and their dependents without recourse to public funds.
- If the applicant plans to establish a business in the UK, they would be required to detail a business plan mentioning the nature of the business along with the earnings and relevant experience.