EU Settlement Scheme and UK citizens' rights

EU Settlement Scheme

Links to key information regarding the EU Settlement scheme (EUSS):

  • The EUSS is open.  Except in a few cases, EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will need to apply to the EUSS – who should apply.  Irish citizens do not need to apply to the EUSS.
  • EU citizens can be signposted to GOV.UK where they will find a step by step guide to applying for EU settlement status. The guide has been translated into 26 European languages.
  • The Scottish Government 'Stay in Scotland' toolkit provides a package of support to help EU citizens stay in Scotland.
  • Eligibility for settled status will be based solely on residence in the UK.  A person will not be refused status under the EUSS because, for example, they are not economically active or they do not hold comprehensive sickness insurance. There are a number of ways to provide evidence of residence – providing a National Insurance number is possibly the simplest but there is a list of suggested evidence that is accepted.   
  • The UK Government community leadership toolkit equips local authorities and community groups with information and materials to support EU citizens to apply to the EUSS.
  • It is free to apply to the EUSS.  If someone has paid a fee during the pilot phase, they can get a refund.
  • Scottish Government is funding Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) to provide an advice service for EU citizens.
  • Local authorities are providing an assisted digital service in libraries and community centres to support access to the EUSS - Assisted Digital Locations in Scotland (please note more centres will be opening in Scotland).
  • The We Are Digital webpage provides information to those that are considering delivering assisted digital services to support EU citizens applying for settled status. 
  • The Home Office will fund third sector organisations to support vulnerable citizens apply to the EUSS.  Successful services in Scotland are CAS, Community Renewal Trust, FENIKS, Fife Migrants Forum, International Organisation for Migration (IOM), Perth & Kinross Association of Voluntary Service (PKAVS), Positive Action in Housing, and the Simon Community Scotland.  

In the event of a No Deal: On 6th December 2018, the Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union set out provisions for EU citizens and their family members in the UK in the event of a no deal outcome. You can read the policy document here and key information is below:

  • In the event of a no deal, the EU Settlement Scheme will continue to be implemented, enabling EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to secure their status and continue to be able to work, study, and access benefits and services in the UK on the same basis after we exit the EU as they do now.
  • The Home Office will continue to look to grant status rather than refuse and, as per the UK commitment to be more generous in certain respects than the draft Withdrawal Agreement.  A person will continue to be eligible for settled status under the scheme where they have been continuously resident in the UK for five years, and for pre-settled status (five years' leave to remain) if they do not yet qualify for settled status.
  • A proportionate approach will continue to be taken for those who miss the deadline for a good reason and allow them a reasonable further period in which to apply.
  • There would be some changes to the EU Settlement Scheme if the UK leaves the EU without a deal, which is set out in the policy document. In particular, as there will be no agreed implementation period, EU citizens will need to be living in the UK before it leaves the EU to apply and the application deadline will be brought forward to 31 December 2020.
  • There will be different arrangements for EU citizens arriving in the UK in the event of a no deal, and details of these will be set out in due course.
  • Guidance on staying in the UK for longer than 3 months if there’s no Brexit deal.

UK Nationals

No deal