I'm self employed American, currently living in the US, and have the possibility of becoming an Austrian citizen. Once I do this can I move to and live permanently in the UK (and continue to be self employed there)? What are the delays involved or residence requirement involved? Can I for example, move to the UK and live in the UK indefinitely immediately after acquiring Austrian citizenship?

  • How are these 2 related?
    – Karlson
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:14
  • How are what 2 related?
    – orome
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:17
  • I have some trouble understanding your edit.
    – Gala
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:23
  • You can only prevail yourself of EU rules if you are already an EU citizen, not when “awaiting” anything.
    – Gala
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:28
  • @Gala: Sorry, I'll fix it to make clearer.
    – orome
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:30

2 Answers 2


Yes you can. Having an EU passport, you're allowed to freely move, stay and live permanently in any other EU country (there were some exceptions with recent countries joined in EU but all these have been lifted now).

But it's a good idea to check Austrian naturalization laws and ensure that they don't have any T&Cs for their citizenship. For example, in Ireland if you get Irish citizenship and you're not intending to stay permanently in Ireland, they have the right to revoke your citizenship (http://www.citizensinformation.ie/en/moving_country/irish_citizenship/becoming_an_irish_citizen_through_naturalisation.html) unless you go through certain "hoops"

  • 1
    The first paragraph is only partly true. The right to stay and live permanently in another EU country is not absolute. Good point about the citizenship issue (+1).
    – Gala
    Nov 7, 2014 at 8:48
  • I'm not really aware of any such restrictions that apply today. I've mentioned that they were work related restrictions to countries joined at the 2007 enlargement but they have been lifted as of 1st of Jan 2014. Can you please let me know what other restrictions exist? Nov 7, 2014 at 9:03
  • As far as transitory rules for new EU members go, there are still restrictions for Croatian nationals but I was not talking about that, only about the general EU rules I mentioned in my answer. See politics.stackexchange.com/questions/1013/… for details.
    – Gala
    Nov 7, 2014 at 9:24
  • Fortunately for the OP, self-employment is another way to qualify for residency (based on the freedom of establishment, article 49 TFEU and not on the freedom of movement for persons) so it should be all good but it's not true that EU citizens have a right to reside in another EU country no matter what (in particular, under EU law, they can be asked to leave if they cannot support themselves and are not working).
    – Gala
    Nov 7, 2014 at 9:27

Yes, you can. See e.g. europa.eu. You will obviously need to follow all the local regulations.

You can continue to reside in the UK as long as you fulfill the conditions (I don't know exactly what they are for self-employed people, I suppose some genuine activity is required, merely registering yourself as self-employed might not be enough) or qualify in some other way (e.g. take up employment). After 5 years under this regime you would become a permanent resident and, under current EU rules, you could then stay in the UK indefinitely even if you give up your activity.

As far as I know, the UK does not require any registration for EEA citizens. It is therefore not necessary to provide any proof of your status (although the UK could require it under current EU rules and there is some talk of introducing something like that).

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