Further details of Settlement Scheme for EU Nationals

June 25, 2018

The Home Office have now published a statement of intent, giving further details about how this new Settlement Scheme for EU nationals will work in practice.

From March this year we have known that EU nationals in the UK will need to make an application to register their status before the end of the Brexit transitional period on 31 December 2020. This registration will be under UK law and is not an automatic process. An EU national’s ability to live and work in the UK will not be protected unless they make this application.

The Home Office have now published a statement of intent giving further details about how this new Settlement Scheme will work in practice. The scheme will only apply to EU nationals who are resident in the UK before 31 December 2020.

The Scheme will have two application types:

  • Pre-settled Status – This will provide limited leave to remain until an individual has reached the 5-year mark required for settlement. It is a form of temporary residence permit that will allow EU nationals to continue to live and work in the UK.
  • Settled Status – This will provide indefinite leave to remain (ILR) if the EU national can demonstrate continuous residence in the UK for five years. This was previously known as Permanent Residence (PR) under EU law.


There will be three core criteria that applicants will need to meet:

Identity/nationality – verification of identity generally through passports or national identity cards.

Eligibility – main criteria will be continuous residence in the UK, this will be cross referenced with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and in due course Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Suitability – applicants will need to declare any serious past criminal convictions. Checks will therefore be conducted against UK criminality and security databases.

There will be an online application process that will require the individual to upload a photo of themselves and any supporting documents. It will cost £65 to apply under the scheme (£32.50 for children under 16).

Successful candidates will be granted evidence of their status “in digital form”. No physical documents will be issued. Non-EU family members will continue to be issued with plastic credit card sized, Biometric Residence Permit Cards (BRP cards).

The Scheme will be tested over the next few months with a phased roll out by the end of the year. The Scheme should be fully up and running by 30 March 2019, with full details still subject to approval by Parliament.

In the meantime, EU citizens can continue to apply for PR under EU law and it will then be free of charge to exchange PR documentation for the settled status route under UK law.

Should you wish to discuss any of the detail above, please do not hesitate to contact Stephen Hall.

Key Contact