Skip to main content

The EU Settlement Scheme - A Simple Explanation Of What It Means For You

The EU Settlement Scheme - A Simple Explanation Of What It Means For You
Click to enlarge
Managing Director

At ASL, we understand Brexit is causing confusion and distress to many EU nationals living here in the UK. To help, we've put together an overview of what you need to know about the EU Settlement Scheme, Settled Status and Pre-Settled Status, what it all means and how to apply.

One of the key changes the results of the EU Referendum has brought about is the status of EU, EEA or Swiss citizens living here in the UK. ASL understands these changes can be stressful and is causing worries for many people affected. So, we want to help clarify who what The EU Settlement Scheme is, who needs to apply for it and how to apply.


What is The EU Settlement Scheme?

This is the scheme under which EU and EEA nationals or Swiss citizens may apply for the right to live and work in the UK after the UK leaves the European Union. You will need to apply to the scheme should you wish to remain resident in the UK after 31st June 2021. The scheme is open for applications now and finishes on the 30th of June. Application is free of charge. Once you apply, you will be granted either Pre-settled Status or Settled Status. You do not need to choose which Status you’re applying for. Instead, your status will be determined by how long you have been living in the UK at the time you make your application.

If you are an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain, you may be able to stay in the UK without applying.

Settled Status and Pre-settled Status

Typically, if you started living in the UK by 31st December 2020, then you’ll receive Settled Status. You will also usually receive Settled Status if you have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period defined as being resident here for at least six months within any twelve-month period. There are some exceptions to this including if you’ve had to leave for compulsory military service, or one period of up to twelve months for an important reason such as childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting. Once you have been granted Settled Status, you can stay in the UK for as long as you like and if you’re eligible, may apply for British citizenship after twelve months.

If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you make your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, you must have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020 in which case you’ll be granted Pre-settled Status. This grants the right to live in the UK for the next five years. You must apply for Settled Status before those five years are up and you must have been continuously resident in the UK for that time (absent for no more than six months inside any twelve month period).

If you have settled status, you can spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. If you have Pre-settled Status, you can spend up to two years outside the UK without losing your status however, you will need to maintain your continuous residence if you are going to want to qualify for Settled Status.

Your Rights

Once you have been granted Pre-settled or Settled Status, you will have the right to:

  • work in the UK
  • use the NHS for free (if you currently have that right)
  • enrol in education or continue with current studies
  • access public funds including pensions and benefits (if you’re eligible)
  • travel in and out of the UK


The Application

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you will need to provide proof of identity (a valid passport or national identity card and a digital photo of your face) and proof of your residence in the UK. If you need to change from Pre-Settled Status to Settled Status, then you’ll need to provide these proofs again. You can scan your document using the EU Exit: ID Document Check app if you have an Android phone or an iPhone 7 or above. You can also send your documents via post. For proof of continuous residence, you can give your National Insurance number and your status will be checked against tax and benefits records. This may be sufficient to confirm residency, however, if not, you’ll need to provide other documentation. More details here .

You find out if you’re eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme here and start your application here .

What Happens Once You’ve Applied?

If your application is successful, a letter will be emailed to you. The letter will tell you whether you’ve been granted Settled or Pre-settled Status. If you need to prove your Status, you’ll be able to do so online here . After twelve months after being granted Settled Status, you will usually be able to apply for citizenship.

If your application is unsuccessful, you can reapply at any time up until 30th June 2020 free of charge.

Full details of the scheme can be found on the Government’s website here .

We know this period of change can be difficult and upsetting. We would like to help you to make this as simple as possible. If you have any questions, please get in touch by telephone on 01424 452999 or via email at [email protected] and we will do everything we can to help.

ASL Recruitment was established in 1999 and has been serving Hastings and the surrounding area ever since placing temporary and permanent roles across a variety of sectors including Industrial and Manufacturing, Legal, Finance, Marketing, Technology and Office Support, from junior up to board level. Our co-founder and Managing Director, Jason Perry is an HR specialist and a Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. For further information on our recruitment or consultancy services, email [email protected] or call us on 01424 452999.