Following the UK’s departure from the European Union, if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family members (including non-EEA citizens) should check if you need to apply to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to protect your rights and to continue living in the UK.
The application deadline for those who were living in the UK by the end of the transition period at 23:00 GMT on 31 December 2020, is 30 June 2021.
Even if you have permanent residence document in the UK, you still need to apply to the EUSS to stay in the UK after June 2021.
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) applies to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens even if they have been in the UK for many years, and even if they have been married to a British spouse for a long time.
If you moved to the UK before 1 January 1973, you may have been given Indefinite Leave to Remain automatically if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen. If you were, you do not need to apply to the EUSS to stay in the UK but can if you want to.
Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EUSS, but their family members who are not British or Irish need to apply.
What is the application process?
Applications to the EUSS are free and can be made online at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme, where you will also find details of what information you need to apply. Another person can apply on your behalf or assist you in applying. Another person includes a family member, friend, carer, social worker, support work or legal representative.
The application requires you to provide proof of your identity and nationality, residence in the UK and, if applicable, to declare any criminal convictions. This can be done on a computer, laptop, tablet device or mobile phone. If you are not able to apply online for any reason, please contact the Home Office Settlement Resolution Centre (www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme) on 0300 123 7379 (or +44 (0) 20 3080 0010 from outside the UK) – Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm.
In order to prove your identity, you will need a valid passport or valid national identity card. If you do not have either of these, or your documents are out of date, you may be able to use other evidence in certain situations. Please contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre for further information (www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme).
If you own a smartphone and have a biometric passport or national identity card (one enabled with a chip carrying your details), you can scan your document and upload your photograph using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app using an Android phone, or an iPhone 7 or above. Another person can do this on your behalf if you do not have access to a smartphone. Another person includes a family member, friend, carer, social worker, support work or legal representative.
If you are not able to scan your documents using a smartphone, or if your document is non-biometric, you can instead send your document by post to the Home Office. Alternatively, there are several locations which you can visit to have your identity documents scanned for you – details of this service are below (although note that some locations may charge a fee for this service and that some locations have been closed due to COVID-19 restrictions). You can find out more information about this stage of the process by calling the EU Settlement Resolution Centre, or visiting this webpage on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme).
If you apply successfully to the EUSS, you will be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
Successful applicants receive either settled status or pre-settled status. Settled status is indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK. It is granted to those who have been continuously resident in the UK for at least five years. Pre-settled status (limited leave to enter or remain in the UK) is granted to those who have lived continuously in the UK for less than five years. If you receive pre-settled status, you can apply for settled status once you have lived in the UK for at least five years.
Both types of EUSS status mean that you can continue to be eligible to access the benefits and services you could before the UK left the EU.
Over five million applications have been received to the EUSS so far. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you apply before the deadline of 30 June 2021.
Where can you get support?
There is a lot of help and support available to you to apply to the scheme.
EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) guidance
EU citizens can check what they need to do to stay in the UK if they or their family members are from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Guidance, including how a family member or carer would apply on behalf of a vulnerable citizen, is available on GOV.UK (www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme).
EU Settlement Scheme Resolution Centre
For questions about your application, including assistance to complete the form, you can call 0300 123 7379 (or +44 (0) 20 3080 0010 from outside the UK). The centre is open Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm and Saturday to Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm. Click here to find out about call charges (www.gov.uk/call-charges).
Information on the EUSS has been translated into 25 European languages and Welsh- click here to view the translated factsheets (gov.uk/settled-status-translated-materials).
This free service is available over the phone and in person if you do not have the right access, skills or confidence to complete the online application form. Contact We Are Digital by calling 03333 445 675 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). For more information about We Are Digital (gov.uk/eu-assisted-digital).
ID document scanning service
This service is available to complete the identity verification step (checking your passport or identify document) if you do not have access to the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. There may be an administrative fee to use this service. To check availability of this service and for more information, visit GOV.UK ( gov.uk/eu-id-scanner-locations).
The Home Office has provided funding for 72 organisations across the UK to provide help and support to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members with their EUSS application. To can access a postcode checker showing local support, visit GOV.UK