Status of EU Nationals in the UK

The Home Office has published a Statement of Intent and draft Immigration Rules which set out further details about how EU citizens and their families can obtain settled status in the UK.

The Statement of Intent and the draft Immigration Rules set out how the EU Settlement Scheme will work, who can apply, how people can apply and the fee.

The key points are:

  • Most EU citizens will only need to complete three key steps to make an application:
    • They will need to prove their identity;
    • They will need to prove that they live here;
    • They will need to declare whether they have any criminal convictions.
  • Employment and benefits records that the Government holds will be checked to establish someone’s UK residence, meaning most applicants won’t need to provide anything to prove their residence.
  • An application will cost £65 and £32.50 for children under 16 – less than the cost of a British passport. It will be free for those with valid documented permanent residence or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain

A range of user-friendly guidance and support, including a customer contact centre, will be in place when the scheme launches by the end of this year to help citizens through the process.

Who can apply?

  • EU citizens and their family members will generally need to have lived continuously in the UK for five years to get settled status.
  • Those that have lived in the UK for less than five years will be granted pre-settled status until they accumulate their five years. They can then apply for settled status free of charge.
  • Irish citizens will not need to apply, but can elect to do so if they wish.

When can EU citizens apply?

  • EU citizens cannot apply right now but can sign up for updates on the Home Office mailing list.
  • The Scheme will be phased in later this year, before it opens more widely. It will be fully open by the end of March 2019.
  • EU citizens will have plenty of time to apply after the UK leaves the EU to make an application for settled status. The deadline for applications for those resident in the UK by the end of 2020, is 30 June 2021.

The Home Office’s media fact sheet on the Citizen’s Rights agreement can be viewed here.

For more information on the settlement scheme, visit the website.