EU Citizens, Brexit and Settled Status

As and when the UK leaves the EU, EU citizens will no longer have the direct right to enter, live and work in the UK. Therefore, if you have EU citizens working for you, you should be aware that these employees will need to obtain settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme in order to carry on working after December 2020 (unless they already have Indefinite Leave to Remain).

NB EU citizens will need to apply even if they are married to a British citizen


To be eligible for settled status, the EU citizen must:

  • Have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years;
  • Have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

EU citizens who have lived in the UK for under 5 years will generally be eligible for pre-settled status instead; this will allow them to stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date they get pre-settled status and, after those 5 years, will be able to apply for settled status.

Applying for Settled Status

The EU Settlement Scheme is currently being trialed by EU staff working for 12 NHS Trusts and by EU students from three universities in the North-East. 1The Scheme will then be phased in towards the end of 2018 and will open fully by March 2019.  The deadline for applying is intended to be 30 June 2021 (a further six months grace after the end of the transition period).

The application form will be online. EU citizens will need to provide proof of their identity and their residence in the UK.  If the EU citizen is over 18, they will also be asked about their criminal history in the UK and overseas and will be checked against the UK’s crime databases.

The fee to apply in the majority of cases will be £65 for EU citizens aged 16 or over

What Should you do?

  • Check the numbers of EU citizen employees you have (if not known);
  • Ascertain for how long they have lived and worked in the UK;
  • Ask your EU citizen employees if they are intending to stay living and working in the UK;
  • Discuss with them the requirement to obtain settled status.

Employers’ Toolkit

A Home Office toolkit is available to enable you to increase awareness amongst your employees about the EU Settlement Scheme and how to apply for settled status; it is available at: – and includes briefing packs, posters and leaflets to assist you and your EU employees.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in more detail, please contact Hannah Farmborough or call on 0207 429 4147 to be put in contact with a member of our team. 

This article originally appeared on the blog of our member firm, MHA MacIntyre Hudson.