European Economic Area nationals in Scotland

This section covers the rights of EEA nationals who were living in the UK prior to 1 January 2021. EEA nationals who were living in the UK prior to this date are able to apply for Settled Status (or pre-settled status) and in doing so may protect some of the rights they had before Brexit, including rights to make a homeless application.

EEA Nationals who arrive in the UK after 1 January 2021  are generally treated in the same way as other persons from abroad. They are likely to have no recourse to public funds and as a result of this are not entitled to local authority housing or homelessness assistance.

EEA nationals after Brexit

This page provides information about housing eligibility from 1 January 2021 for advisers working with EEA nationals who are currently living in the UK. 

Qualified persons

This page explains the categories of EEA nationals who can be classed as qualified persons, who have an extended right to reside and can retain their status when their circumstances change. These individuals are entitled to access social security benefits, are exempt from the Habitual Residence Test, and are eligible to apply for housing and homelessness assistance from their local authority. 

EEA Workers

Definition of the term 'worker' and the circumstances when worker status is retained if the person ceases to work. 

Self employed persons

The meaning of 'self-employed' for the purposes of the right to reside. 

Retired or incapacitated workers

An outline of the right to reside of retired or permanently incapacitated workers and self-employed people and their family members. 

Family members of workers and self employed

An overview of the right to reside and eligibility for housing assistance of family member of workers and self-employed people. 

Five years' residence

Once an EEA national has been lawfully resident in the country for five years or more they have a permanent right to reside. 

Habitual residence test

The purpose of the Habitual Residence Test (HRT) is to establish that an individual has sufficient links with the United Kingdom to justify claiming benefits and other social advantages here. 

A8, A2 and Croatian nationals

The Treaties of Accession by which new countries join the EU allow existing member states under EC law to place restrictions on some EC Treaty rights for nationals of these countries. There is no restriction on entering the UK; the aim is to limit access to labour markets, and the effect also limits entitlement to state support including housing and homelessness assistance. These transitional restrictions can last up to five years. 

This content applies to Scotland

Last updated: 20 January 2021