If you’re an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, or a family member of an eligible person in Northern Ireland, you need settled status. To continue living in the UK, all EU nationals without British citizenship must apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme

EU Settlement Scheme is a registration process for EU nationals who wish to remain in the United Kingdom after the United Kingdom exits the EU. The EU Settlement Scheme enables you and your family members to obtain the immigration status you need to continue to live, work, and study in the UK.

This means if you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who was resident in the UK by December 31, 2020, you and your family members (including children and non-EU citizens) need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK.

This immigration status allows you to continue to be eligible for

  • Public services, such as healthcare and schools.
  • Public funds and pensions.
  • British citizenship application, if you meet the requirement

Who is Eligible to Apply for EU Settlement Scheme

All EU nationals resident in the United Kingdom prior to its final departure from the European Union on January 31, 2020, are required to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. This order includes all EEA and Swiss citizens who were residents in the UK before December 31, 2020.

You must obtain settled status even if you have lived in the UK for many years and have a UK permanent residence document. Non-EU family members living in the UK as of December 31, 2020, must also apply.

Do eu settlement scheme family permit to join? Yes, close family members who were not living in the UK as of December 31, 2020, will be able to join their EU family member in the UK at any time in the future, as long as the relationship remains intact.

Family members may originate from anywhere on the globe; they do not need to be EU citizens. Spouses, unmarried partners, dependent children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents are considered close family members. Children, like adults, must obtain immigration status. For more information on applying on behalf of children, go to gov.uk/applysettled-status-for-children.

In more simple terms, the EU Settlement Scheme eligibility applies to:

  • All EEA, EU and Swiss citizens.
  • Family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen. If you have children, you need to apply for them separately.
  • Member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
  • Those born in the UK but are not a British citizen.
  • You have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK, but you’ve separated or the family relationship has broken down.
  • You’re the family member of a British citizen, and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together.
  • You’re the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship.
  • You have a family member who is an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
  • You’re the primary career of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.

Who is Not Eligible

You do not need to apply if you have:

  • Indefinite leave to enter the UK.
  • Indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • Irish citizenship (including British and Irish ‘dual citizenship’).
  • If you’re a ‘frontier worker or have a Frontier Worker permit (you work in the UK but do not live here)
  • If you’re exempt from immigration control. And if your family is not, they may be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Note: You cannot apply to the EU settlement scheme from inside the UK if you arrived after December 31, 2020, and you’re in the UK.

  • On a Standard Visitor visa.
  • Permitted Paid Engagement visa.
  • Parent of a Child Student visa or Transit visa.
  • Came through an e-passport gate.
  • On a Marriage Visitor visa, unless you’re applying after you have married or entered into a civil partnership with the EU, EEA or Swiss person you’re joining.

EU Settlement Eligible Countries

EEA includes countries and Switzerland as listed below:

AustriaBelgiumBulgariaCroatiaRepublic of Cyprus
Czech RepublicDenmarkEstoniaFinlandFrance

EU Settlement Scheme Certificate of Application

Successful applicants will receive either “pre-settled” or “settled” status, depending on the length of time they have been residents in the United Kingdom.

Pre-settled Status

If you receive “pre-settled” status, also known as “limited leave to remain” or “limited entry,” this means you can stay in the UK for a period of five years. This will allow you to remain in the UK until you are eligible for settled status, generally once you have lived continuously in the UK for five
years. then you can apply for settled status.

Settled Status

If you receive settled status, also known as indefinite leave to remain or enter, this means there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK. You can go on to apply for British citizenship if you meet the requirements and want to apply. Read More

How to Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

This EU settlement scheme guidance provides all the information you need to complete an online application form. The EU Settlement application saves automatically; and allows you to start the application process and complete it at a later time if you so choose. Once you have completed an application form, it can be linked to a family member’s application, using your unique applicant number.

To apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, you need to do the following:

  • Prove your identity: You can prove your identity with a valid passport or valid national identity card (if you are an EU citizen), or a valid biometric residence card or permit (if you are a non-EEA citizen). You can use the EU Exit: Scanner to scan your identity document.
    • ID Document Check app on iPhone or Android, or
    • Visit a location providing access to the ID document scanning service.
    • Send in your identity document by post
  • Proof of Residence: You need to prove your residence in the UK by providing your National Insurance number. If you don’t have a national insurance number, you may need to upload additional documents to your application.
  • Criminality Check: Complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application.

Apply now: gov.uk/eusettlementscheme

EU Settlement Scheme Statistics

According to EU settlement scheme statistics as of September 30, 2022, the EU settlement scheme had received 6.9 million (6,874,700) applications, with 6.7 million (6,686,530) of those applications being completed. These are estimates for applications, not applicants, and include multiple applications from the same person.

According to the 2021 Census, 3.6 million citizens living in England and Wales were born in the European Union, accounting for 36.4% of all non-UK-born residents. Read more on EU settlement scheme statistics.

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