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Human Resources


The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020.  Since then the UK has been subject to a formal transition period during which EU rules continue to apply. This transition period will end at 11PM (GMT) on 31 December 2020; with it will be the end of free movement between the UK and EU.

Transition Period

Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein (EEA Nationals) can continue to live, work, and study in the UK, visa free, until the end of the transition period.

Anyone who is resident in the UK or who plans to enter the UK before the end of the tranistion period will need to sign up to the EU Settlement Scheme.  

The deadline for applications to the scheme is 30 June 2021.

We would encourage, where possible, any EEA nationals, not currently resident in the UK, to enter the UK before the end of the transition period.  Where this is not possible, either due to personal circumstances or current travel restrictions, we will be able to offer sponsorship for a work visa.  January new starters should seek advice from HR to discuss their options.

Non-EEA family members

Non-EEA nationals who are the family members of EEA nationals will also be able to apply to the scheme. 

  • Those already resident in the UK can apply directly using the EU Settlement Scheme app.
  • Those not in the UK must apply from their country of residence and await the outcome of their application before entering the UK. 
  • Non-EEA family members will still be able to enter the UK after 31 December 2020 as long as their EEA national fmaily member is already in the UK.

From January 2021

From 1 January 2021, anyone arriving in the UK, from anywhere in the world, will be subject to the new immigration system.  This will mean that all EEA nationals, with the exception of Irish Citizens, will need a visa to enter the UK.  

EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens must sign up to the EU Settlement Scheme, even if they already have Permanent Residency(PR). 

The only exceptions are Irish citizens, as they are covered by the Common Travel Area, and EU citizens who obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain prior to their Country's accession to the EU. Both are welcome to apply to the Scheme if they wish. 

Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are entirely electronic. The first section of the application is via an app that is available on both iPhone and Android. The app checks your ID document, you also have the option to do this by post or at an identity document scanning locations. HR also have an Android device and can assist you with your application. 

Eligibility Criteria

The EU Settlement Scheme offers two status depending on the length of an individual’s residency.

  • Settled Status: for individuals resident in the UK for five or more years
  • Pre-Settled Status: for individuals resident in the UK for fewer than five years.

How to Apply

The application process uses an individual’s National Insurance number to check HMRC and DWP records in real time to establish the length of residency. In most cases, this will yield the correct status after which the individual can submit their application for a final criminal records check. 

Unexpected Outcomes

Like any system, it can produce false negatives.  It is possible for an individual, resident for five or more years, to be offered Pre-Settled Status instead of Settled Status. 

Where an application produces an incorrect status, this does not mean it has been rejected; it means the online check cannot confirm the residency requirements have been met due to gaps in the individual’s records.  An applicant does not need to accept the offer of Pre-Settled status and will be provided with an opportunity to submit further evidence to confirm their residency.  The system also provides a note of which years require further information

The most common issues that cause this error are:

  • Gaps in tax history;
  • A period of study;
  • Change in name;
  • Different spellings of name;
  • Punctuation in an individual's name, such as umlauts and accents.

Deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. All applications must be made before this date

Further Information

Further information and an FAQ about Brexit and the EU Settlment Scheme is available on Queen Mary's Brexit website.

For applications to the EU Settlment Scheme.

Further information on the UK / EEA EFTA and UK / Swiss agreements 

Announcement and policy statement of the new immigration system

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