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The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and it is now less than 100 days until the transition period – and freedom of movement – come to an end.

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens (and their close family members) who reside in the UK on or before 31 December 2020 may continue living and working here, but should take action to secure their status via the EU Settlement Scheme.

The deadline to apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. The application is made online and, once approved, EU citizens will have an online status proving their right to live and work in the UK (and other entitlements).

The online status will be one of the following:

  • Settled Status – this will be issued if you have resided in the UK for 5 years or more (or less than 5 years if limited circumstances apply). This status confirms the holder's right to reside in the UK indefinitely and potentially later apply for British citizenship.
  • Pre-Settled Status – this will be issued if you have resided in the UK for less than 5 years. This status will be valid for a 5-year period. Before the end of the 5-year period the holder must make a further application to continue residing in the UK.

If you are living in the UK with an EU/EEA Family Permit, Residence Permit or Permanent Residence document then these documents will cease to be valid as of 1 January 2021. You must either apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to have your status converted, or apply for British citizenship, before the 30 June 2021 deadline.

You do not need to apply if you have: indefinite leave to enter the UK, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, British or Irish citizenship (including 'dual citizenship'). However, if you are residing in the UK as the family member of an Irish citizen then you will need to apply.

From 1 January 2021, Europeans who relocate to the UK will need to meet the requirements of the UK's immigration rules (Irish nationals are exempt from these provisions).

It is advisable to take action to secure status via the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible. Whilst the application process is intended to be straightforward and quick, the Home Office has stated that applications are taking longer than usual to process because of COVID-19.

Contact Us

We have extensive experience in advising on all aspects of EU residence rights and we can provide you with application support and guidance with regard to the EU Settlement Scheme. Please do contact us to discuss.