EU citizens and their family members living in the UK need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021.
The UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme allows EU citizens to continue to study, work and live in the UK post-Brexit and will ensure that your rights are protected, and you can continue living in the country as we leave the EU.
Even if you have lived in the UK for many years, you still need to apply to the scheme to protect your rights. The online application checks your identity and UK residency and asks you to declare any criminal convictions.
Who needs to apply?
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. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.
You may be able to stay in the UK without applying - for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain.
It’s free to apply for the scheme.
What documents do I need before I start my application?
Applying for the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status) is quite an easy process to complete; however, be prepared to provide some of your contact and personal details twice (email address, phone number). Here is a useful video that goes through all the steps needed to apply:
1. Proof of your identity
Have your phone with you as Home Office will send you a text message with an access code to progress your application. You need to have:
- Passport or national identity card (you will be asked to provide the document number and document expiry date if applicable)
The Home Office will tell you immediately after you apply if you need to provide any documents. You’ll be able to submit photos or scans of your documents through the online application form.
When you apply, you can either:
- use the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app to scan your document and send your photo - you need to use a smartphone to do this.
- send your document by post and upload your photo using the online application (you can take this yourself).
2. Proof of continuous 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.
If you’ve not lived here for 5 years in a row, you may still be eligible for pre-settled status. You can give your National Insurance number to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records.
3. Your photograph
As part of the online application, you will be asked to upload a recent digital photo of your face.
If this check is successful, you’ll not need to provide any documents as proof of residence. You’ll only need to provide documents if you have been here for 5 years in a row but there is not enough data to confirm this.
Read what documents you can provide to the Home Office if you’re asked to provide more evidence.
4. Criminal convictions
If you’re 18 or over, the Home Office will check you have not committed serious or repeated crimes, and that you don’t pose a security threat.
You’ll be asked about your criminal history in the UK and overseas. You’ll also be checked against the UK’s crime databases.
If you’ve only been convicted of a minor crime, for example, you’ve had a speeding fine, you’ll still be eligible for settled or pre-settled status.
You may still get settled or pre-settled status even if you have other convictions. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis.
If you’ve been to prison, you usually need 5 years’ continuous residence from the day you were released to be considered for settled status.
How to use the EU Exit ID Document Check App
You can scan your document and upload your photo using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check App’ using an Android phone, or an iPhone 7 or above. Here is a short video on how to use the app:
When can you apply?
The EU Settlement Scheme is open. You can apply for free now if you meet the criteria. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021. Which status you get may depend on when you apply.
Applications are via the government website.
More information regarding the EU Settlement Scheme can be found on here.
The guide is also translated in up to 26 European languages, please click here for more information.
Help and support
If you live in Merseyside, you can access advice and guidance from Citizens Advice Liverpool who can assist you with the application process.
You can email them on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0151 522 1400 Ext 5002.
Migrant Help have access to interpreters in all languages to provide guidance through this application. You can also call the Free asylum helpline (open 24/7/365) 0808 8010 503. Find out more on their website: www.migranthelpuk.org
You can also contact Citizens Advice who should be able to help.
Settled is an independent charity providing free and trustworthy information, advice and support in different languages to EU citizens in the UK. Visit their website for frequently asked questions or their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/WeAreSettled/ for live events.
Other support for applicants
The Home Office EU Resolution Centre: helpline telephone number 0330 123 7379.
For a list of more local organisations providing free support and events across the UK, visit the EU Delegation to the UK website, EU Rights at: www.eurights.uk/
There are also pro-bono (free / lower cost) legal organisations, such as Here for Good, available for referrals of complex cases, such as those with a criminal record: www.hereforgoodlaw.org/
The Housing Rights Information Website set up by the CIH and BME National, provides advisors with housing rights information based on applicants’ immigration status, in England, Wales and Scotland.