The scheme

The scheme

The current rights of EU citizens in the UK and their family members will remain unchanged until 31 December 2020. To be able to carry on living in the UK after that date, it will be necessary to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme to enjoy ongoing rights to healthcare, work, benefits and public services according to the same rules as now. The scheme will enable EU citizens and their family members living in the UK to continue their their lives here much as before.

The EU Settlement Scheme will mean that:

  • EU citizens and their family members who, by 31 December 2020, have been continuously resident in the UK for five years will be eligible for ‘settled status’, enabling them to stay indefinitely.
  • EU citizens and their family members who arrive by 31 December 2020, but will not yet have been continuously resident here for five years, will be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’, enabling them to stay until they have reached the five year threshold to apply for settled status.
  • EU citizens and their family members with settled status or pre-settled status will have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK.
  • Close family members living abroad will still be able to join an EU citizen resident here after the end of the implementation period, provided the relationship existed on 31 December 2020 and continues to exist when the person wishes to come to the UK. Future children are also covered.

Basis for assessment


Identity and nationality will be verified using passports, national ID cards (for EU citizens) or, for non EU citizens, a biometric residence card or biometric residence permit (BRP). A photograph will also be required to identify the applicant.


Establishing that the applicant is resident in the UK and, if appropriate, is a family member of an eligible EU citizen and asserting whether their residence qualifies them for settled status or pre-settled status.


Those who are serious or persistent criminals, or who pose a security threat will be identified by checking UK criminality and security databases and overseas criminal records as appropriate. This is intended to protect all of us who live in the UK.

To make the process as simple as possible, employment and benefits records will be checked for proof of residence. Applicants who wish to submit additional evidence will be able to provide a wide range of documentation and will be able to upload scans or photos of documents rather than having to send hard copies.

There will be help for long term residents without official documentation to establish their eligibility under the scheme from the material they have.

Who will be covered by the scheme

The scheme will cover nationals of the following countries and their family members.

REFERENCESee Family members and Children

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland

  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg

  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden

Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are being negotiated but it is expected they will also be covered by the scheme.