If you're an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK, you need to ensure you have all the information you need when it comes to applying for the EU Settlement Scheme.
1. Check if you need to apply
You may need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, even if you have a 'permanent residence document', or have have a British citizen family member. Click here for more information on eligibility and who should apply for the scheme.
2. Find out which status you'll receive
You'll receive settled or pre-settled status depending on how long you've been living in the UK. It's important to check this, as it may impact when you choose to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
You'll usually get settled status if you:
- started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)
However it's important to check to ensure that you qualify for settled status - click here for further details on if you qualify for settled or pre-settled status.
If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you’ll usually receive pre-settled status. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
You can then apply to change this to settled status once you have 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before your pre-settled status expires.
3. Check what you'll need to apply
When you apply, you'll need proof of:
- your identity (such as a valid passport or national identity card)
- your residence in the UK, unless you have a valid permanent residence document, or valid indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK
Click here for further details on the documents you will need to apply. Once you have your documents, you can download the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to complete the identity stage of your application. It is available to download for Android devices from the Google Play Store and for iPhone 7s and above from the Apple App Store.
4. Apply before the deadline
At the time of writing, the deadline for applying for the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. It's important to ensure you submit your application in advance of this date, as processing times may become longer as the deadline to apply moves closer.
5. Once you've applied
If your application is successful, you'll receive either settled or pre-settled status, and access to an online service where you can view and prove your status. If you are unsuccessful, you may be able to apply for an administrative review, or apply again before the deadline - click here for further details on what happens after you've applied.
If you receive settled or pre-settled status, this will mean after the UK leaves the EU, you have the right to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS
- enrol in education or continue studying
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
- travel in and out of the UK
If you have any questions about the EU Settlement Scheme, and how it affects your ability to work in the UK, please get in touch today.
Note: this article has been updated as of 6th August 2020.