Brexit. What EU citizens living in the UK need to know

I am a Polish / Lithuanian / Latvian / Romanian / Greek / Portuguese / Czech citizen. What do I need to do to continue living and working in 2021 and beyond in the UK?

British flag & EU flag

Answer: The EU Settlement Scheme allows you to continue to live, work and study in the UK. It means you continue to be eligible for:

  • public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you want to apply and meet the requirements

Am I eligible to apply?

To apply, you need to be an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen.

You need to be living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

If you have been living in the UK for more than five continuous years at the point when you apply then you will be eligible for settled status. If you have been a resident for less than five continuous years at that point, you will be eligible for pre-settled status. 

What about my family members?

If you are an EU citizen living in the UK, you and your family members are protected under the EU Settlement Scheme. 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 members).

Close family members that are not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to join you in the UK at any point in the future. They will need to be able to show their relationship to you and it must still exist when they apply to come to the UK. Close family members include spouses, civil partners, unmarried partners, dependant children and grandchildren, and dependant parents and grandparents. 

Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020 will also have their rights protected.

When can I apply?

The EU Settlement Scheme will fully open by 30 March 2019. You will then have until 30 June 2021 to apply and your rights will remain unchanged until then, provided that you are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.

How does the application process work?

You can access the application online using a computer, tablet or mobile phone. If you want, you can save your application and complete it later on. 

When you apply, you’ll need proof of:

  • your identity
  • your residence in the UK, unless you have a valid permanent residence document, or valid indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK
  • your relationship to a family member from the EU living in the UK, if you’re from outside the EU
  • Proof of identity

When you apply, you’ll be able to either:

  • scan your identity document using a compatible Android mobile phone or tablet – you can use someone else’s phone or tablet to do this
  • send your document by post

Book an appointment with one of the three organisations listed below to have your ID verified:

Tower Hamlets Council Register Office

The Limehouse Project

East End Citizens Advice Bureau


You’ll also need to upload a recent digital photo of your face conforming to the UK Passport Office requirements.

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