UK Settled Status
Applicants from the EEA countries and Switzerland (and their families) who have been continuously resident in the UK for 5 years at the date of application will be eligible to apply for settled status under the EUSS.
- Once they have held settled status for 12 months, they may then be eligible for British citizenship.
- If they are married to British citizens, they may be in a position to apply for citizenship on receipt of settled status.
- Future absences from the UK of 5 years or less should not impact their settled status—
although this period is still subject to confirmation.Any children born in the UK after settled status is obtained will automatically be British.
An applicant who has been continuously resident in the UK for less than 5 years up to the date of application will be eligible for 5 years limited leave to remain (“pre-settled status”). · An application for settled status may be made after an applicant has completed 5 consecutive years on condition that the applicant has not been absent for more than 6 months of any year.
Absences from the UK of 2 years or less should not impact pre-settled status (however, note that this period is still subject to approval).
The EUSS is open, and it is free to apply. Applicants can access the application at
- Applicants will be required to prove their identity and disclose any criminal convictions.
- The deadline for registering if “no deal” is reached is 31 December 2020.
Light Enforcement Announced if Hard Brexit
EU citizens and their family members who move to the UK after 31 January 2020 will need to have applied for a UK immigration status (whether Euro TLR or under the new, points-based immigration system) by 31 December 2020. Otherwise, they will be here unlawfully and will be liable to enforcement action, detention and removal as an immigration offender.
Resident EU citizens and their family members who are eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme will have ample opportunity to apply for status under the scheme. In the event that the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the deadline for applications under the scheme will be 31 December 2020.
Employers, landlords and other third parties will not be required to distinguish between EU citizens who moved to the UK before or after Brexit until the new, points-based immigration system is introduced from January 2021.
Until 31 December 2020, checks on, for example, an EU citizen’s right to work or rent, will be undertaken as they are now, and all EU citizens will be able to evidence their rights here using their passport or national identity card. Alternatively, if they wish to do so, an EU citizen will be able to use their digital status, granted under the EU Settlement Scheme or under the Euro TLR scheme, to prove their right to work and other entitlements, via the Home Office’s digital status checking service. This service will enable them to share their digital status securely with an employer or other third party who needs to see it. Non-EU citizen family members will be able to rely on a biometric immigration document to prove their entitlements, also via the digital status checking service where they wish to use this.
When the new points-based immigration system is introduced from January 2021, employers and others will need to check that, in respect of any new recruitment or new provision of service, an EU citizen has a valid UK immigration status, and not just an EU passport or national identity card. This check will be undertaken when that individual applies for a new job, tenancy or bank account, for example. It will not be done retrospectively.