The EU Settlement Scheme
Information for staff on the EU Settlement Scheme and how to apply Updated 6th November 2019
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
What does it mean for me?
If you are an EU citizen, you and your family members are able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 31 December 2020.
The EU Settlement Scheme allows you and your family members to get the immigration status you will need to continue to live, work and study here in the UK. This status means that you continue to be eligible for:
- public services, such as healthcare and schools
- public funds and pensions
- British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements
Who is eligible to apply?
- you need to apply if you are an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen, this includes those with a UK permanent residence document. You do not need to apply if you have indefinite leave to remain or enter, or you are an Irish citizen, but you can if you want to.
- you need to be a resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 (in the event of a no-deal, this will be the date the UK leaves the EU). If you have been a resident in the UK for five continuous years or more you will be eligible for settled status. If you have been a resident for less than five continuous years you will be eligible for pre-settled status
- you must not be a serious or persistent criminal, a threat to national security, or have a deportation order, exclusion order or exclusion decision against you
Irish citizens do not need to apply to the scheme to protect their rights in the UK, though they are able to do so if they want to. Non-Irish, non-British family members of Irish citizens will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if they want to remain in the UK after 31 December 2020. In the event of a no deal, this date will be 29 March 2022.
The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EEA and Swiss citizens: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
- if you are an EU citizen living in the UK, you and your family members can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Family members do not need to be from the EU; they can come from anywhere in the world (known as non-EU family members)
- close family members include spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents
- close family members who are not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (in the event of a no-deal, this date will be 29 March 2022) can join you in the UK at any point in the future (in the event of a no-deal, this date will be 29 March 2022). They will need to be able to show their relationship to you and it must still exist when they apply to come to the UK. For more information on close family members, visit GOV.UK
- children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 (in the event of a no-deal, this date will be 29 March 2022) will also have their rights protected
When can I apply?
The EU Settlement Scheme is open and you have until 30 June 2021 (in the event of a no-deal, this date will be 31 December 2020) to apply.
How does the application process work?
You can access the application online using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. Your application saves automatically, so if you want to, you can start your application and then complete it at another time. It is free to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The application asks for basic information like your name, address, contact details and nationality.
Proof of identity
Verify your identity and nationality using your passport, national identity card, or biometric residence card (if you are a non-EU citizen).
Proof of residence
Prove your residence in the UK by providing your National Insurance number, if you have one. Other documentation may be used, or required, to show proof of residence.
Complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This will not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.
You can get support over the phone or in person if you need online assistance.
Key things to know about the application
Proof of identity
To verify your identity you will need a valid passport or national identity card. If you are a non EU citizen you can use a valid passport, biometric residence card or biometric residence permit. When you apply, you will be able to either:
- scan your identity document using the EU Exit ID Document Check app on an Android device (we are able to provide an Android device for you to use if you do not have access to one. Please contact email@example.com if you would like to set up an appointment).
- visit an ID document scanning location which provides access to an Android device. A list of locations can be found on GOV.UK
- send in your passport or national identity card (if you have one) to the Home Office by post. Once you start your application you will be provided with the address
You will need to provide a digital photo of yourself which will be checked to make sure it matches the photograph on your identity document. Non-EU citizens will also need to provide fingerprint biometrics if they have not already done so, for the purposes of being issued a biometric residence card.
Proof of residence
- there are a number of ways to provide evidence of your residence. Providing your National Insurance number (if you have one) should help you prove your residence in the UK.
- there may be cases where residence cannot be proven automatically in this way additional evidence may be required. You can easily submit further evidence online by uploading photos or scanning your documents into your application. For a list of suggested evidence that is accepted, visit GOV.UK.
Approval and your status
- if you receive pre-settled status (also known as limited leave to remain or enter) this means you can stay in the UK for a period of five years. This will allow you to remain in the UK until you are eligible for settled status, generally once you have lived continuously in the UK for five years.
- if you receive settled status (also known as indefinite leave to remain or enter) this means there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK
You will usually be able to apply for British citizenship 12 months after you have received settled status.
Successful applicants will get digital proof of their status through an online service. Your family members who are from outside the EU will receive a biometric residence card if they do not already have one.
- your status will be stored electronically by the Home Office. Once you receive your status, details will be provided on how to access it on GOV.UK.
- you will be able to prove your rights to others online, including employers. Help will be available if you have difficulties using online services.
- there will be no changes to Right to Work checks on EU citizens until 30 June 2021 (in the event of a no-deal, this date will be 1 January 2021). If you are an EU citizen, you can continue to use your passport or national identity card as proof of your rights until 30 June 2021 (in the event of a no-deal, this date will be 31 December 2020).
The EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
For individual questions about your application call 0300 123 7379 .
ID document scanning service
This service is available to complete the identity verification step if you do not have access to the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. There may be an administrative fee to use this service. For a list of ID document scanning locations, visit GOV.UK.
HR Visas can also help with this step by providing an Android device for you to use. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Applying for the scheme from outside of the UK
The Home Office have produced guidance on how to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you are currently outside the UK.