last update: Feb 2021


What is Brexit and has it happened?

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.

In 2020 the EU and UK  signed a Trade and Cooperation Agreement, which sets out the rules that apply between the EU and UK as of 1 January 2021.


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 and wish to remain must complete their Settled Status application by 30 June 2021.  As of October 2020, nearly 4 million people have registered in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme and therefore can continue living and working 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?

EU citizens and their family members arriving in the UK will be admitted under UK immigration rules and 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.

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.

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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. 

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