EU citizens and their family members who were living in the UK before 31 December 2020 must apply for a new status to remain in the UK after Brexit - this is called settled status. The application process went live on 29 March 2019, and the deadline to apply was 30 June 2021. Joining family members (if eligible) can apply at any time.
If EU citizens or their family members do not have a legal basis to remain in the UK after 30th June 2021, they will be in the UK unlawfully and face problems with, for example, applying for jobs, accessing the NHS and renting homes. However, they may still be able to submit a late application and have their rights restored once they are granted status.
EU citizens who have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) do not need to apply for settled status, although they may want to in order to gain Withdrawal Agreement rights (such as family reunion rights, and the ability to leave the UK for 5 years rather than 2 before losing status). See this FAQ for more information.
See this helpful Mythbuster on the EU Settlement Scheme, published on the Mayor of London website.
Settled, an independent charity set up to provide information and guidance for vulnerable EU citizens, has produced some useful information about the status and how to acquire it on this page . Applicants with a criminal record, a complicated life story or a low English proficiency should seek advice before applying – see Here for Good and this helpful one-page summary from the charity Unlock. It contains links to more detailed information.
As at the 30th June 2021 deadline, EU citizens and their family members made over 6 million applications for a new status under the government’s scheme. However, over 40% of applications have resulted in a temporary status ('pre-settled status') which means these citizens will need to re-apply within five years for a permanent status.
the3million have grave concerns about those EU citizens who miss out on acquiring legal status to stay in the UK. Particularly the most vulnerable in our society. We are campaigning hard to make changes to law and policy to try and protect EU citizens’ rights from the impact of Brexit.
We are campaigning for a legal status to be granted automatically to EU citizens and their families. This was promised by the current Prime Minister on 1 June 2016. He said that "there would be no change for EU citizens".
Practically, this means the Government’s current scheme should be converted into a simple registration system confirming the new status automatically granted to EU citizens. This will mean that people who do not apply will not become unlawful in the UK.
Those who acquire a status via the settled status scheme will not receive a physical document. We are campaigning for people to be given a physical document to prevent discrimination, instead of an intangible digital token.
We will and must do everything we can to avoid the consequences of people losing their status and rights in the country they call home!