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CIH Scotland

New Arrivals

EEA nationals

This page is for new arrivals. If you are a housing adviser please click here for information more relevant to you.

What is the EEA?

The European Economic Area (EEA) is the European Union plus some other countries in which EU free movement rules apply.

Who is an EEA national?

You are an EEA national if you are a citizen of any of the following states:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • The Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Romania
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland.

The United Kingdom is also a member of the EEA. However, UK citizens cannot normally make use of EEA rights in the UK. There are also some additional rights for Irish nationals.

Which are new EU accession states?

As new countries join the European Union (become 'accession states') special transitional rules usually apply for a temporary period (usually five or seven years from the date the country joined). If you are a national of a new EU country these transitional rules impose restrictions on your rights of free movement, to work and to get benefits that do not apply to nationals of other EU countries.    

Most recently, you were affected by these transitional rules if you are a national of Croatia who applied for housing or benefits before 1st July 2018. In any other case, including applications by Croatians since that date, EEA national have the same rights regardless of their country of origin.     

The specific rules that applied to people from Croatia, which joined the EU in July 2013, can be seen on these pages for England and Wales and for Scotland.

Background Topics

Chartered Institute of Housing Scotland