EU Citizens in the UK

EU Citizens in the UK

How Brexit is impacting your UK rights & status.

EU Citizens in the UK

The rights of EU citizens in the UK will remain unchanged until the end of the Brexit transition period.

EEA nationals will continue to have the right to come to the UK to study, work and live without needing a visa until 1 January 2021, when the biggest overhaul in the UK’s immigration rules of recent times takes effect.

Among the changes will be the end of EU free movement, affecting the rights of EEA nationals to enter and remain in the UK.


EU citizen rights from 1 January 2021

Under the UK’s new immigration system, EU citizens coming to the UK from 1 January 2021 will need to apply to the Home Office for either a points-based visa or an alternative immigration route, in the same way as ‘non-EEA’ nationals.

EU citizens already resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 have to register under the EU settlement scheme to retain their lawful immigration status and their rights to work, education, healthcare, pensions and other benefits. This will not be conferred automatically. The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.

The only exceptions are Irish citizens and those with UK indefinite leave to remain (ILR), whose UK permanent residence status will not be affected.

From 2021, EU citizens may be asked to prove their rights, for example, their right to work, rent or use the NHS. This will require you to have been granted status as follows:

  • Pre-settled status if you’ve lived in the UK for less than 5 years; or
  • Settled status if you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years or more; or
  • British citizenship if you have held UK permanent residence or settled status for 12 months, or straight away if you are married or in a civil partnership with a British citizen.

Read more about: 

  • British citizenship >