If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
You can also apply if you are a family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you will be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
You will be given either:
- settled status
- pre-settled status
You will not be asked to choose which you are applying for; the status you receive depends on how long you have been living in the UK when you apply. Your rights will be different depending on which status you get and when you started living in the UK.
You will usually receive settled status if you have lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’).
Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you have resided in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. The exceptions are:
- one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
- compulsory military service of any length
- time you spent abroad as a Crown servant, or as the family member of a Crown servant
- time you spent abroad in the armed forces, or as the family member of someone in the armed forces
You may be considered to be resident in the UK on 31 December 2020 and may be eligible for settled status if you have:
- lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period in the past; and
- have not left the UK for more than 5 years in a row since then.
You can stay in the UK as long as you like if you get settled status. You will also be able to apply for British citizenship if you are eligible.
Your rights with settled or pre-settled status
You will be able to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS for free, if you can at the moment
- enrol in education or study in the UK
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you are eligible for them
- travel in and out of the UK
You will have different rights if you receive settled or pre-settled status because you have applied to join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member and you arrived in the UK after 31 December 2020. For example, you will not be able to bring your own family members under the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you want to spend time outside the UK
If you have settled status, you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status.
If you are a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.
If you have pre-settled status, you can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. You will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.
If you have children after applying
If you receive settled status, any children born in the UK while you are living here will automatically be British citizens.
If you receive pre-settled status, any children born in the UK will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status. They will only be a British citizen if they qualify for it through their other parent.
If you want to bring family members to the UK
If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, your close family members can join you if all of the following apply:
- you were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020
- your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020 (unless they are a child born or adopted after that date)
- the relationship still exists when they apply to join you
If your family member is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK if they hold either a valid passport or identity card with a biometric chip.
If your family member is not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK. They must hold a relevant UK document, for example:
- a residence card
- a permanent residence card
- a derivative residence card
Otherwise, they will need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK. Once they are in the UK they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If your family member joined you on or after 1 April 2021, they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of the date they arrived in the UK. For example if they arrived on 15 June 2021, they must apply by 15 September 2021.
If you cannot bring your family member under the EU Settlement Scheme, they may still be able to come here in a different way, for example on a family visa.