Brexit: An update for EU Citizens


The UK and the EU have now reached agreement on what EU Citizens living in the UK can expect after Brexit.


EU citizens currently in the UK

When the UK leave the EU on 29 March 2016 it has been agreed that if you are an EU citizen living in the UK you will be able to continue to live and work here. Your rights to healthcare, work arrangements and access to benefits will continue.



The agreement reached for EU citizens and their families includes stipulations that:

  • If by 29 March 2019, you have been continuously and lawfully living in the UK for 5 years you will be able to apply to stay indefinitely by getting “settled status”. This means you will entitled to obtain healthcare free of charge, you will have access to public funds and services and can go on to apply for British citizenship in line with the Nationality rules.
  • If by 29 March 2019 you haven’t been living here lawfully for 5 years then you will have to apply to continue living here until you have reached the 5-year threshold, and then you will also be eligible for settled status.
  • Family members who are living with, or join, EU citizens in the UK by 29 March 2019 will also be able to apply for settled status after completing 5 Years lawful residence as a EEA Family member.
  • Close family members (spouses, civil and unmarried partners, dependent children, grandchildren, and dependent parents and grandparents) will be able to join EU citizens after exit, where the relationship existed on 29 March 2019.
  • After March 2019, EU citizens can come to the UK to work during the implementation period which will continue until December 2020, but they will be required to Register with the UKBA within 3 months of arrival.
  • You will need to exchange your Permanent Residence Permit for the “settled status” document when the new scheme is up and running. There will be no cost associated with this.

Settlement scheme

The Home Office have said that a user-friendly scheme is being made available to allow EU Citizens to obtain settled status. As soon as further information is made available we will share this.  No action is required just now although the scheme is expected to be up and running later this year.  European Citizens and their family members will be given until 30 June 2021 to apply for settled status.

How can we help?

We can advise you on some of the options available to you just now and also keep you up to date with the settlement scheme. We can provide:-

  • Advice on Exercising Treaty Rights and the evidence you should retain;
  • Permanent Residence Documentation and applications;
  • British Citizenship requirements and the application process;
  • Residence card applications for Family Members of EU nationals.


If we can help please contact Jemma Forbes, in our Glenrothes office.  We can provide a fixed fee for work carried out in this area.


Rachel Scott