My wife and I want to move to the UK. She's from Uruguay and I'm Dutch and we currently live in Spain. We plan to move in 2 months, have booked an AirBnB for the first month until we can find our own apartment. She's a doctor and has a job offer from a hospital. In order to work in the UK as a doctor she needs registration with the GMC (General Medical Council). She's applying to be registered under "Exempt person status" since she's the wife of an EEA national (me). The GMC rejected the application saying I have not shown evidence that I'm exercising my Community rights. This is the form of the GMC we have to fill in: GMC form


  • What does it mean that I'm exercising my Community rights?
  • Do I need to live in the UK before being able to exercise my Community rights?
  • For your wife to be eligible to work in the UK, you must also be in the UK. Did you present any evidence that you intend to move with her to the UK?
    – phoog
    Sep 21, 2017 at 12:39

1 Answer 1


What does it mean that I'm exercising my Community rights?

As an national of an EU member state, one of the community rights you have is the right to live and work in any EU member state.

To exercise the right to do something you do that thing.

In this case, you exercise your right to live in the UK by living in the UK. If you are not living in the UK (or in some EU state other than the Netherlands) you are not exercising this particular right.

Do I need to live in the UK before being able to exercise my Community rights?

You need to be living in the UK in order to be considered to be exercising your right to live in the UK.

So, if the GMC are right, and you've reported what they said accurately, the GMC are saying you need to be exercising your right to live in the UK before your wife applies for registration under the UK GMC under "exempt person status".

  • Thank you for the answer! Reading this it says: EEA nationals are entitled to reside in the UK for an initial period of three months without needing to exercise a Treaty right. An EEA national who will be in the UK for more than three months will have a right of residence for as long as they remain a qualified person. For the first 3 months I will not need to exercise my rights, but I wonder if it is possible to already to do so within those 3 months, to qualify for the GMC.
    – Freek
    Sep 29, 2017 at 6:09
  • @Freek "exercising your rights" as used here means becoming a "qualified person" by becoming employed, self employed, or a student, or by being self-sufficient, and yes, you can do that within the first three months. It would be bizarre indeed if the UK required EU citizens to be in the UK for three months before they could begin their studies or a new job.
    – phoog
    Sep 29, 2017 at 10:54
  • Why did you roll back the edit concerning evidence of intent? It seems relevant to this question.
    – phoog
    Oct 2, 2017 at 13:43
  • @phoog: TLDR: A vague sense of unease crept over me. More fully: Although I believe UK authorities go to significant efforts to write in plain English and make their publications easy to comprehend, I still sometimes find that the more I read, the less sure I become of things. I have not read the whole of the GMC document and I started to feel that there might be subtleties or complications that I was overlooking or unaware of. If you were to revert my reversion or make other changes I'd be quite happy as that would somewhat validate/support my interpretation. Oct 2, 2017 at 14:04

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