Brexit briefing for EU27citizens

As a result of Brexit, EU law and free movement of EU citizens will stop in the UK.

Once Britain leaves the EU, UK immigration rules will apply. EU citizens will have to apply to the Home Office and get permission to live in the UK.

There is a transition period during which  EU citizens and families resident in the UK can apply for a new status to protect continuing residence in the UK.

Timeline of transition period

Brexit: 29/03/19 By 29 March 2019, new Home Office immigration rules for EU residents in UK

Transition period: 31/12/20 The new rules protect EU citizens and their family members resident in the UK. The protective transition period ends 31 December 2020

Apply for settled status by: 30/06/21 If you qualify by 31/12/20 (because you are resident in the UK), you can make the application up to 30 June 2021

What to do before the transition period ends

The Home Office wants EU nationals and family members to register for a new status, confirming authorisation to reside in the UK (leave to remain).

What you will be getting

Settled status

After 5 years continuous residence in the UK (like permanent residence) 

Pre-Setllted Status

If you have not yet got 5 years continuous residence, the Home Office gives 5 years pre-settled status (limited leave to remain). When you have achieved 5 years continuous residence, you can apply for settled status.
No change in ability to work or claim benefits.

What you have to show

Evidence of continuous residence in the UK (but the Home Office will not require evidence of continuous work or other activity in the UK under the transition rules)

Evidence of identity and nationality (passport, identity card): scan online via phone app or possibly send original. May receive help via ‘application centres’ (to be confirmed)

Non-EU family members may need to evidence the relationship

You have to declare any criminal history (which the Home Office also checks, in UK and other countries).

If your tax and benefit records alone will not show continuous residence, collect other records – for example council tax bills, school records, tenancy/rent documents, GP letter, utility bills, mobile phone bills – to present with the application.

Application process

Online, application scheme opens on 29 March 2019 – but start preparing!

£65 application fee (£32.50 for children) per person.  You only pay this once (e.g. you pay when apply for pre-settled status, but no need to pay 2nd fee when apply for settled status)

Priority: Start applying to get your ID document/passport if expired – this can take time to receive

Get legal advice before you apply if:

- you spent long periods abroad, which might break continuous residence in the UK

- you have any criminal history, in the UK or abroad.  You have to declare this; and the Home Office checks

- you have been working in the UK without so far registering with the tax authorities.


Prepared and reprodcued with kind permission of:

The Law Centres Network

The European Commission




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