If you are an EU citizen and want to stay in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, you and your close family members will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

If EU citizens want to stay in the UK beyond 31 December 2020, they and their close family members will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The Scheme is now fully open since the 29th March 2019.

The EU Settlement Scheme will allow you and your close family members to continue to live and work in the UK.

It will mean you are eligible for:

• public services, such as healthcare and schools

• public funds and pensions

• British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements.

* EU nationalities include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or Sweden.

The rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland (EEA member states) are still being negotiated.

 You do not need to apply if you are an Irish citizen (including Irish family members).

Who is eligible?

You need to be an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen*.

You need to be a resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you have been a resident in the UK for more than 5 years you will be eligible for settled status. If you have been a resident for less than 5 years you are eligible for pre-settled status.

You must not be a serious or persistent criminal or a threat to national security.

* EU nationalities include: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia , Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain or Sweden.

What about family member?

The EU Settlement Scheme covers all EU citizens living in the UK and their family members. Family members do not need to be from the EU; they can come from anywhere in the world (referred to as non-EU citizen family member).

Existing close family members not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to join their EU family member in the UK at any point in the future, as long as the relationship still exists when the family member applies to come to the UK (i.e. spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependent children and grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents).

Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 will also have their rights protected. Family members who are not EU citizens will need to show their relationship to an EU citizen living here.

How can I prove I am a non-EU family member of an EU citizen?

You’ll not need to provide any evidence about your family relationship to an EU citizen if you have a valid permanent residence card issued to you under the EEA Regulations on the basis of your family relationship to that EU citizen.

If you have a valid biometric residence card (BRCas a family member of an EU citizen which does not confirm your right of permanent residence in the UK, this will be accepted as evidence of your relationship to that person if it was issued to you on the basis of that relationship and that relationship continues to exist (or did so for the period of residence relied upon).

You can tell if it’s the right type of BRC if:

  • on the back it says ‘EU Right to Reside’
  • at the bottom it says ‘Residence card of a Family member of a union citizen’ or ‘Residence card issued under the EEA regulations’

You’ll also need to provide evidence of:

  • the identity and nationality of that EU citizen
  • the continuous UK residence of that EU citizen

You’ll need to provide evidence of your family relationship to an EU citizen resident in the UK if:

  • your BRC was not issued to prove your family relationship to an EU citizen
  • your BRC was issued to prove your family relationship to an EU citizen but you’re now relying on a family relationship with a different EU citizen
  • you do not have a BRC

Further information on accepted evidence to confirm your relationship to an EU citizen can be found on the UKVI website.

When can I apply and the deadline to apply?

The Scheme is now fully open from the end of March 2019. But there is no rush – those who are resident here by 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to make an application. Your rights will remain unchanged until then, provided that you were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. There is also no quota for applications.

EU citizens applying for the EU Settlement Scheme will not have to pay a fee. Anyone who applied during the pilot phases will have their fee reimbursed. You do not need to do anything because your payment will be refunded automatically. The money you paid will be refunded to the card you used to pay the application fee. Once a refund has been processed it can take 10 working days for the payment to reach your card. It may take longer for some card types and issuers.

How do I apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?

Step #1 Before you apply The form will ask for basic factual information like names, addresses and reference numbers such as your passport, national identity card or National Insurance numbers. Make sure that you have these to hand before you begin.

Step #2 Proof of your identity Verify proof of identity and nationality by scanning your EU passport or national identity card and uploading a photograph of yourself. Alternatively, you can send relevant documentation by post.

Step #3 Proof of residence Confirm proof of residence in the UK by providing your National Insurance number, if you have one. Alternatively, other documentation may be provided.

Step #4 Criminality check Complete the criminality check by declaring any serious criminal convictions.

Please note successful applicants will get proof of their status through an online service. You will get a physical document if you are from outside the EU and do not already have a biometric residence card.

Comprehensive Sickness Insurance

‌Comprehensive sickness insurance is not required for the purposes of this settlement scheme; ordinary residence will remain the test for eligibility for free NHS treatment.

Further information can be found on the UKVI website for EU and European Free Trade Area (EFTA) citizens living in the UK if there is a 'no deal' Brexit.

If you intend to stay temporarily in the UK while studying and then return home you should obtain the European health insurance (EHIC)  card from your country of residence before leaving. If you are unable to get an EHIC card from your country of residence you will need to obtain separate insurance. The NHS have produced a helpful leaflet, Healthcare information for visitors and students from the European economic area (EEA) for further information NHS leaflet healthcare information.

EU students – currently studying in the UK or coming in 2019/20 and 2020/21

The funding bodies in England, Scotland and Wales have all given some assurances to EU nationals about continuing eligibility for the loans and grants.
The Scottish government confirmed that eligible EU students will continue to have access to free tuition, including tuition fee support and SAAS will provide funding in the normal way. The students will be eligible to apply for funding from SAAS for the duration of their course when they confirmed the extended their commitment to the 2020/21 cohort.


Students starting in 2019/20 or 2020/21
Scotland has confirmed that it will extend its commitment to the 2019/20 and 2020/21 cohort which means that all eligible non-UK EU citizens who come to Scotland to study for an undergraduate higher education qualification until 2020/21 will benefit from free tuition for the duration of their studies.

England has confirmed  Non-UK EU students are guaranteed 'Home Fee Status' for studies beginning in 2019/20 and 2020/2021.

The Impact of Brexit for EU students
Until the terms of Brexit are agreed by the UK government and confirm when they are leaving the EU, the full impact for EU students remains unclear. Information will be provided by the VISA team when available. In the meantime, further details can be found on UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA)

Healthcare in the UK for EU, EEA and Swiss students

The UK is due to leave the European Union in one of two ways:

  • having reached an agreement with the European Union (‘deal’ situation); or
  • without having reached an agreement with the European Union (‘no-deal’ situation) 

The UK government (the Department of Health and Social Care) has published guidance pages for both situations. Further information for students currently in the UK or coming to the UK before December 2020 can be found on the UKCISA website