Right to reside for EU/EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members after Brexit

What is the right to reside?

Having the right to reside in the UK means you have the right to live and work in the UK. The right to reside also entitles you to certain benefits. Following Brexit, the right to reside of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen and their family members who started residing in the UK before 30/12/2020 has been processed through the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who wish to reside in the UK after that they must apply to the new point-based immigration system -unless they are a close family member of a citizens with pre-settled or settled status, or eligible to apply to the EUSS.

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein who were residing in the UK before 30/12/2020 are entitled to apply to the EUSS to continue living in the UK. The deadline for application was the 30th of June 2021 but the Home Office is still accepting late applications. For more information about the EUSS visit this link.

EUSS: Late applications

If you or a family member were living in the UK by the 31st of December 2020 you can still apply but you must have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying by the 30th of June 2021 (for example, medical reasons or being a victim of domestic abuse) or you must meet one of the criteria for late applications.

One of the criteria for making a late application is that you are joining a family member who was living in the UK by the 31st December 2020 as long as you were their legal family member by the 31st od December 2020 (this does not apply to children who were born or adopted after this date) and the family relationship continues to exist today.

For more information on late applications visit this link.

Settled status

Settled status is a UK immigration status that gives indefinite leave to remain (or ‘right to reside’). To be eligible, you must have lived in the UK for at least 5 continuous years, have no serious criminal record and have spent less than 6 months abroad in any 12-month period.

You will hold this status forever unless you leave the UK for 5 continuous years or more (or 4 continuous years for Swiss citizens).

With a settled status you have the same rights to healthcare and welfare benefits in Scotland as a British citizen.

Pre-settled status

Pre-settled status is a UK immigration status that gives limited leave to remain. To be eligible, you must have lived in the UK for less than 5 years and have no serious criminal record.

You will hold this status for 5 years unless you leave the UK for 2 or more continuous years.

With a pre-settled status, you have the right to live, work and healthcare. Pre-settled status does not qualify as the ‘right to reside’ for the purposes of welfare benefits so you must have the right to reside from another source for example, work, education or family.

Visit these links for more information:

Information updated on 7th April 2022.