Brexit update 

15 February 2019

Q&A - EU citizens living in the UK

What is the EU settlement scheme?

The EU settlement scheme is designed to allow EU citizens and their family members to continue to live, work and study in the UK after 29 March 2019. While it is already possible to apply, the EU settlement scheme will be open fully by 30 March 2019. There is currently a fee to apply for the EU settlement scheme, however on 21 January 2019, it was announced that as of 30 March 2019, no fee will be applicable. All applicants who have already paid the fee for this application will be reimbursed. 

If a deal is reached, EU citizens and their family members can apply until 30 June 2021 and their rights will remain unchanged until this date, provided that they are resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. In the event of a no-deal Brexit, the deadline for applying is 31 December 2020. 

To find out what to do and when, please visit and use the tool for your personal situation.

What is the difference between settled and pre-settled status?

Pre-settled status

EU citizens and their family members who have not lived in the UK for 5 consecutive years will be granted pre-settled status to allow them to stay and to reach the five-year mark after which settled status can be applied for. 

Settled Status

EU citizens and their family members who have already lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years or longer can now apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.

Five years’ continuous residence in this respect means that for 5 years the EU citizen and their family members have been in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. While this is the main rule, limited exceptions regarding rights and status do apply and are further explained on the UK government website: 

Leave to remain

Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) is also known as ‘Permanent Residence’. As a foreign national, if you are granted Indefinite Leave to remain, you are allowed to live and work in the UK without any restrictions.

Are there any conditions that I have to meet in order to qualify for settled or pre-settled status?

In order to qualify for either settled or pre settled status you must be able to show proof of identity, proof of residence in the UK (unless you have a valid permanent residence document, or valid indefinite leave to 

remain in or enter the UK) and in the case of non-EU/EEA family members you must show proof of your relationship to the EU citizen.

You will also be asked about criminal convictions in the UK and overseas to assess if you pose a security threat. Minor convictions such a speeding will not be a reason to deny pre or settled status and even more serious convictions will be judged on a case by case basis.

I am an EU citizen planning to visit the UK after 29 March 2019, do I require a short stay visa?

During the transition period from March 30, 2019 to January 1, 2021, EU citizens, EEA and Swiss nationals seeking to stay in the United Kingdom for up to three months do not require a visa. 

I am an EU citizen and would like to stay in UK for more than 3 months, do I require a visa?

Arriving before 29 March 2019

In the event of a deal scenario, EU citizens could apply for settled or pre settled status up until 30 June 2021. In the event of a no deal, EU citizens could apply for settled or pre settled status until 31 December 2020.

Arriving after 29 March 2019

EU citizens arriving after this time would be required to apply for a new type of visa, European Temporary Leave to Remain or ETLR. Applications will be required to be made online and a fee will be applicable. The maximum period will be 36 months and it will not be possible to extend but there will be no salary or skill requirement attached.

If the stay will extend beyond 36 months then it will be necessary to apply for a further visa under the new skills based immigration application procedure which will come into effect on 1 January 2021. If the criteria are not met then you will not qualify for the new visa, and will no longer have the right to remain in the UK and therefore must leave. It is currently not yet known what the requirements will be to obtain this visa. Also, this visa will not lead to an Indefinite Leave to Remain or permanent permit. 

For those arriving after 1 January 2021 this new skills based visa will have to be applied for prior to travel.

Does this also apply to Irish citizens?


In either a deal or no deal scenario Irish citizens will continue to have the right to enter and live in the UK under an agreement that pre dates EU rules.