Free movement between the UK and EU ended on 1 January 2021.
Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein (EEA Nationals) who settled in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 can continue to live, work, and study in the UK, visa free but it is essential that they make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.
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 family member was in the UK before 31 December 2020.
After January 2021
The end of free movement means that EEA nationals not resident in the UK will be subject to the immigration control. All non-resident EEA nationals, with the exception of Irish Citizens, will need a work visa before they can be employed in 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.
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.
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
Find out more
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 Settlement Scheme.