If you are a European national or family member who has a right to live in the UK based on EU free movement laws, you can apply for Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
Rights that EEA and Swiss nationals have to live and work in the UK will come to an end after a “transition period”. After that, you will need permission under the UK’s domestic Immigration Rules to continue living in the UK.
“Settled Status” is a grant of indefinite leave to remain under the Immigration Rules; “Pre-Settled Status” is a grant of limited leave, usually to allow you to reach the 5-year residence period required for Settled Status.
Who can apply?
You can apply as a national of an EEA member state (EU member states plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway), or Switzerland.
Family members can also apply, usually in line with the main applicant. Find out more about making an application on the Home Office website:
Existing residence rights
The Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2016 also continue to apply for the time being. This means that in most cases EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members continue to have the same rights to live and work in the UK as they had before Brexit. For some people, an application for documentation under the Regulations is still a sensible option.
However, changes have been made to the Regulations that deal with the way in which family members can enter the UK with their EEA/Swiss sponsor, and to the rights of people using the “Surinder Singh” route. It is important to take advice about your individual situation, to understand your rights and application options.
The Government has said that a “transition” period will apply until 31 December 2020. However, the deadline for applying to the EU Settlement Scheme will be 30 June 2021. At the moment we cannot be certain about how UK immigration laws will treat EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members between 31 December 2020 and 30 June 2021. The “hostile environment” laws that require checks on immigration status for work, NHS treatment, bank accounts etc., could have serious effects for people who have not applied under the Settlement Scheme.
If you would like further advice about applying under the EU Settlement Scheme, please contact me.