So I'm Australian, but living as a Permanent Resident in The Netherlands. I know I'm free to work anywhere in the Schengen zone with certain conditions etc.

BUT - how about non-Schengen countries like the UK? They say you must be an EU CITIZEN in order to work in the UK and that they do not recognise permanent residents as being "citizens" and they only look at the passport of the person coming to the country.

This is from the un-Help desk on the Home Office phone line, so I'm not sure this is correct, but the consulate won't help either. Any ideas?

  • What's your exact status in the Netherlands? A domestic work visa from a Schengen country would let you travel elsewhere in Schengen as a tourist, but IIRC most won't (possibly only a Blue Card?) let you work in other countries
    – Gagravarr
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 10:55
  • I'm Permanent Resident in The Netherlands. I know I can work within the Schengen area, but I'd like to work in the UK for a year (easier to find work for English speakers), but the UK is not a Schengen country. Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 11:01
  • I obviously don't know anything about your family but many Australians use the UK Ancestry visa. I believe it's easier and cheaper than going through the point-based system and could be an idea to solve your problem.
    – Gala
    Commented Oct 27, 2015 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


The rules you are referring to stem from directive 2003/109/EC and are wholly unrelated to the Schengen regulations (summary here). So they do apply to some non-Schengen countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus) but not even to all of them.

Unfortunately, the UK and Ireland have opted out from it. From the motivation of the directive itself:

(25) In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and without prejudice to Article 4 of the said Protocol, these Member States are not participating in the adoption of this Directive and are not bound by or subject to its application.

Denmark, which is part of the EU and Schengen area, also opted out. Finally, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein are also part of the Schengen area but are not EU members and apparently not bound by this directive. As far as those countries are concerned, you are starting from scratch when it comes to work visas.

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