EU settlement scheme

Information for residents and employers on the EU settlement scheme.

On 15 December 2017, the UK and the EU Commission made an agreement on citizens' rights.


The agreement means that EU citizens living lawfully in the UK and UK nationals living lawfully in the EU by 29 March 2019 will be able to stay and enjoy broadly the same rights and benefits as they do now.
The agreement says:


  • close family members will be able to join after the UK has left the EU. This includes spouses, unmarried partners, children, grandchildren, dependent parents and grandparents. Children born or adopted outside of the UK after the 29 March 2019 will also be covered
  • people will be able to be absent from the UK for up to five years without losing settled status, more than double the level of absence allowed under current EU law. There will be the same reciprocal protection for UK nationals living in the EU
  • professional qualifications (for example for doctors and architects) will continue to be recognised where these are obtained before the date of the UK's departure from the EU
  • it will be easy to apply for settled status and there will be a full right of appeal
  • EU citizens who already hold a valid permanent residence document will be able to have their status converted to settled status free of charge


Applying for settled and pre-settled status

If you're an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


The EU Settlement Scheme is now fully open and the deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.


Advice for residents

If you are a European Union citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to get either settled or pre-settled status. This will mean you can continue living in the UK after December 2020.


The deadline for applications is:

  • 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal
  • 30 June 2021 if the UK leaves the EU with a deal


You can find  out how to Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme on GOV.UK. You can also sign up for email updates about the scheme.


Advice for businesses and employers

The EU Settlement Scheme allows your employees and their close family members to continue to live and work in the UK after Brexit.


Using the scheme will mean that they are eligible for public services, such as healthcare and schools, public funds and pensions, and British citizenship, if they want to apply and meet the requirements.


You can use an Employer Toolkit to explain the scheme to your employees. It contains a range of ready to use leaflets and posters.


Additional information

► Factsheet on the EU Settlement Scheme


► The Europe Direct Information Centre has free advice and resources to citizens on immigration policy, such as the EU Settlement Scheme.