EU citizens’ rights and settlement scheme
The UK government has reached an agreement with the European Union on citizens’ rights. This agreement will protect the rights of EU citizens after the UK leaves the EU and enable them to continue to live their lives as they do now. It also covers their family members.
Settled status and pre-settled status
In order to secure their rights, EU citizens will need to apply for settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme. The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.
The rights of EU citizens will not change until 2021 so there is no need for them to apply for status as soon as the scheme opens.
The application process is intended to be quick and user-friendly. It will check 3 basic principles – identity, UK residence and criminality.
The Home Office will use EU citizens’ National Insurance number in order to confirm when they have been resident in the UK.
Getting status under the scheme means EU citizens can continue to live and work in the UK as they can now. It will mean they will continue to be eligible for:
• public services, such as healthcare and schools
• public funds and pensions
• British citizenship, if they meet the requirements