EU Settlement Scheme

The EU settlement scheme explained

Following the UK’s vote to leave the European Union (EU), the government set up the EU settlement scheme to allow EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to apply to continue living in the UK.

EU citizens who live in the UK but do not have indefinite leave to remain will have to apply to the scheme by the end of the month (June 2021).

Who can apply for the scheme?

Certain people from the EU, the EEA and Switzerland can apply for the scheme.

People from another country can apply in certain circumstances, for example if they are a family member of an EU citizen living in the UK.

Applicants need a valid ID document and proof of residence to successfully apply.

You do not need to apply if you have indefinite leave to enter the UK or indefinite leave to remain in the UK. Those who work in the UK but don't live here, known as 'frontier workers' do not need to apply.

Irish citizens also do not need to apply for the scheme.

Applicants will need to visit the government's website to apply for the scheme.

Successful applicants will be able to stay in the UK for a further five years from the date they get 'pre-settled status' and can apply to switch to 'settled status' after five years continuous residence in the UK.

People who are given settled and pre-settled status have broadly similar rights, but there are some important distinctions.

Both statuses allow individuals to:

  • Work in the UK

  • Use the NHS for free, if they can when applying

  • Enrol in education or study in the UK

  • Access public funds such as benefits and pensions they are eligible for

  • Travel in and out of the UK


Further information is available on the Government website.