last update: Dec 2020


What is Brexit and when will it happen?

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland officially left the European Union at 11pm (UK time) on 31st January 2020, following a referendum on 23rd June 2016 in which the country voted to leave.

Since the UK and the EU have both signed a Withdrawal Agreement, we have now entered a period of transition which will last from 1st February 2020 to 31st December 2020 whilst the UK and EU agree their future relationship. During this period very little will change as the UK will continue to observe most EU rules.

What do I need to do to remain in the UK?

The government launched a Settlement Scheme for EU Citizens as outlined below. More information can be found on the UK government’s web page.

EU citizens who were already in the UK before 31st January 2020 (the date the UK left the EU) and wish to remain must complete their Settled Status (or pre-Settled Status) application by 30th June 2021. So far, over 2.7 million Settled Status applications have been concluded by the Government, and over 99% of them resulted in the applicant successfully receiving Settled Status or pre-Settled Status.

Contrary to a previous announcement by the Home Office, the UK Government has now said that EU nationals living here who have not completed their application by the deadline will not be immediately deported. However, we have not yet heard any detail about what would happen or how long any ‘grace period’ might last. Therefore we strongly advise you to complete your Settled Status application by the deadline to ensure you can continue to be eligible to work in the UK. 

How to apply for settled / pre-settled status.

  1. Identity check - you will need proof of identity, e.g. a passport.
  2. UK residence check - you will need proof that you live in the UK, this is likely to be done automatically using your employment and benefits records.
  3. Criminal records check - the government will check to make sure there are no serious criminal convictions.
  4. Application fee - It was announced on 21st January 2019 that there will be no application fee to this scheme. Anyone who has already paid will be able to claim a refund. 
  5. Settled or pre-settled status granted - once you have successfully completed the checks, you will be granted either “settled” or “pre-settled” status depending on how long you have resided in the UK. Settled status will only be provided for those who have resided in the UK for 5 years or more. Otherwise you will be given pre-settled status, which allows you to stay in the UK for a further 5 years. When you reach 5 years, you will be able to apply for full settled status and there will be no charge for this.

When does the scheme open and how do I apply?

The EU Settlement Scheme is now open. The deadline for applying will  be 30 June 2021.

You can apply using any device, for example, a laptop, Android device or iPhone.

To apply you will need:

  • an email address
  • proof of identity (your current passport or biometric residence card)
  • proof of continuous UK residence (To be eligible for settled status, you usually need to have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row. You need to provide proof of this when you apply)

Click here for the link to the government's website with further information on how to apply now.

What is the impact on EU citizens and family members arriving after Brexit?

Once free movement has ended, EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK will be admitted under UK immigration rules and will require permission (leave to enter or remain). Unlike EU free movement, this will not be a rights-based system so those who do not hold valid immigration permission to be in the UK will be here unlawfully and may be liable to enforcement action. This is a crucial difference between UK immigration law and EU free movement law, which does not require permission from the Home Office for a person to be here lawfully.

The Johnson Government has indicated that it will follow a skills-based ‘points’ approach to immigration after the end of the Brexit transition period. Details are limited at present, however it appears applicants will need to speak English to a required level, have a job offer approved by a sponsor, and for that job to be at an appropriate skill level. These mandatory criteria will give an applicant 50 of the 70 points required - the remaining 20 points can be made up from other criteria such as the job being in a category with a skills shortage, the salary level, or the applicant having a PhD. The plan is at an early stage, and as such will likely be subject to change. We will confirm further details once the government begins the process of passing the final plan into law.

Click here to read the government's initial policy statement.

I already have permanent residency - will anything change for me?

EU citizens and their family members already resident in the UK are able to stay living and working in the UK.

I already have indefinite leave to remain - will anything change for me?

If you have indefinite leave to remain you can continue to live and work in the UK without applying for settled status.

You can choose to exchange your indefinite leave to remain for settled status, which will allow you to spend 5 years outside the UK rather than 2 years (although this is still being approved by the government).

If I don’t get settled or pre-settled status will I have to leave the UK?

If you haven’t applied for settled or pre-settled status by 30 June 2021 you will be unable to remain in the UK. Unless you have indefinite leave to remain.

What about my family members?

Close family members will be covered by the settlement scheme, even if they come from outside the EU.  A "close family member" is a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents.

I have an Irish passport - do I still need to apply?

No, Irish citizens won't be required to apply, however any close family members from outside the UK and Ireland will need to apply.

are you an employer looking for brexit guidance?

click here

need help with your application?

we're here for you.

If you are currently applying or thinking of applying for settled status, permanent residency or indefinite leave to remain, Randstad would be happy to help you complete your application. If you would like help with this please fill out the question form below and let us know which client site you are working on so that one of our representatives can arrange a meeting with you. Please be aware that the new Settlement Scheme is not fully open until March 2019 so you may not be able to apply for that scheme until then.

questions? contact us today: