The UK withdrew from the European Union (EU) on January 31st 2020. If you’re an EU or European Economic Area (EEA) citizen and want to continue living in the UK, you’ll need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Discover how to apply for the scheme and the key dates you need to know regarding your application.
Who needs to apply to stay in the UK?
You’ll need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme (or EU Citizens Settlement Scheme) to stay in the United Kingdom after December 31st 2020 if you’re from:
- A country in the European Union (EU) like Poland or Germany.
- A European Economic Area (EEA) country like Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein
- Any other country and you have a family member who is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland.
The EEA includes all EU countries plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Switzerland is not a member of the EU or EEA but is part of the single market. This means Swiss citizens have the same rights to live and work in the UK as other EEA nationals.
Depending on where you’re from, there are different deadlines and criteria you’ll need to meet in order to stay in the UK.
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Can EU citizens stay in the UK after Brexit?
Yes. EU citizens who have lived in the UK for five years or less, and wish to remain here, need to apply for pre-settled (temporary) status under the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30th 2021.
Did you know: To apply for pre-settled status, you only have to prove you’ve lived in the UK for at least one day.
Alternatively, if you’ve lived in the UK for more than five years, you need to apply for either full British citizenship or settled (permanent) status under the EU Settlement Scheme by the same date.
The Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme began on March 30th 2019 to process the registration of EU and EEA citizens resident in the UK before it departed from the European Union, i.e. Brexit, on January 31st 2020.
What’s the difference between pre-settled and settled status?
If you’re granted settled status you’ll only need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once. Settled status will grant a person the same rights to healthcare, education, benefits and pensions as a British citizen.
If you’re from the EU and have pre-settled status, you’ll get access to the same rights as settled status, just temporarily. Pre-settled status allows you to stay in the UK for five years. At that point, you’ll need to apply for settled status.
Applying to stay in the UK after Brexit if you’re an EEA national
If you’re a citizen of Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and already live in the UK, you can also apply for settled or pre-settled status. This will allow you to remain in the UK after the transition period ends on December 31st 2020.
Until this date, you’ll have the same rights to remain in the UK as you did pre-Brexit.
After this date, you’ll need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. To avoid any interruptions to your rights to live and work here, it’s best to apply now.
Switzerland and Brexit
Swiss citizens wishing to remain in the UK after December 31st 2020 have to apply for new residence status under the EU Settlement Scheme before June 30th 2021.
This applies to you even if you’re married to a British citizen or have a document certifying permanent residence in the UK. If you have dual Swiss-British nationality, you don’t need to apply to stay in the UK.
Staying in the UK if you have family from the EU, EEA or Switzerland
If you live in the UK as a non-UK/EEA/EU or non-Swiss citizen but are related to a UK-based EU, EEA or Swiss national, you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. You’ll need to apply by December 31st 2020 and prove your relationship as their:
- Civil partner
- Unmarried partner.
You can also apply if you’re related to an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, their spouse or civil partner as their:
- Child, grandchild or great-grandchild under 21 years old
- Dependent child over 21 years old
- Dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent
- Dependent relative.
Your EU, EEA or Swiss family member will usually need to apply as well. You can apply if you’re the family member of an Irish citizen, even though they do not need to.
Who doesn’t need to apply to stay in the UK?
You won’t have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if:
- You’re a British or Irish citizen
- You were born in the UK and have at least one parent with settled status
- You have permanent residency in the UK.
How to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme
You can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme:
To apply by post, you’ll need to print, complete and return the form with the requested documents to:
EU Settlement Scheme,
PO Box 2075,
What documents do you need to apply for pre-settled status?
To apply for pre-settled status, you’ll only need to provide one document showing your name and a date within the last 6 months. For settled status, you’ll only need to submit one piece of evidence to cover longer periods of time. In both cases, you’re welcome to submit more than one document if you have them. This is generally a good idea as it may strengthen your application.
For pre-settled status, that means one or more of the following documents:
- A bank statement showing payments received or spending in the UK.
- A payslip for a UK-based job.
- A utility bill with a UK address.
- A National Insurance number as proof of your residence based on tax and benefit records.
- A landline or mobile telephone, TV or internet bill showing a UK address.
- A domestic bill, such as for insurance, and evidence of payment.
- A letter from a healthcare provider confirming appointments you’ve attended.
- A letter from a government department such as Jobcentre Plus.
- A passport stamp confirming entry at a UK port of entry.
- A used travel ticket, such as a plane ticket, confirming you entered the UK from another country.
- An invoice for at least one day’s work you’ve completed in the UK and evidence of payment.
What documents do you need to apply for settled status?
For settled status, your documents will need to have both a start and an end date. For example, a council tax bill or statement showing at least a 6-month timescale. Other documents you can include:
- An annual bank statement showing at least 6 months of payments received or spending in the UK.
- A letter from your place of work confirming employment.
- A letter or certificate from your educational organisation showing your enrolment and course completion dates.
- A document showing a UK address from a student finance body in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland or from the Student Loans Company.
- A residential mortgage statement and evidence of payment.
- A letter from a registered care home confirming your residence there.
- Proof of employer pension contributions.
- An annual business account of a self-employed person.
- A P60 form for a 12-month period. Your P60 shows the tax you’ve paid on your salary in the tax year.
- A P45 form showing the length of your previous employment. You should get a P45 from your employer when you stop working for them.
Proof of relationship documents for non-EU/EEA or non-Swiss citizens
If you are a non-EU/EEA or non-Swiss national, you will need to prove your relationship to an EU/EEA or Swiss national living in the UK in order to remain here with them. You can do this with either:
- A family permit or residence card.
- A valid marriage or civil partnership document.
- A valid overseas certificate for a civil partnership or same-sex relationship.
- Evidence you’ve lived together for at least the last two years such as joint bank or mortgage statements.
- Evidence of joint finances like tax returns or investments.
- A child (if any) birth certificate which names you both as parents.
- A custody agreement which names you both as having parental responsibility
- Proof of your family member’s identity such as their passport, national identity card or EU Settlement Scheme application reference number.
For all applications, you’ll also need to provide information about any criminal convictions, as well as a recent digital photo of yourself.
Due to COVID-19, postal services are slower than usual. If you need your passport back for an upcoming holiday, it’s best to apply after your trip.
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