EU Settlement Scheme

EU nationals wishing to settle permanently in the UK after the UK leaves the EU on the 29 March 2019 will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.  If an agreement has been reached for the UK to leave the EU the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021.  If an agremment has not been reached, referred to as a 'no-deal Brexit', the deadline to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme will be 30 December 2020.  The same rules will apply to nationals of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

If you are an EU student wishing to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be able to do so from the 21 January 2019 during the final stage of the test phase, provided that you meet the following criteria:-

  • You are an EU national with a valid passport (not identity card), or,
  • You are a non-EU citizen who has a residence card or permanent residence card issued on the basis of an application made on or after 6 April 2015.

EU family members will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from 30 March 2019 when the scheme will be open to everyone.

EU citizens who have evidence that they have lived in the UK for the last five years, and have not been away from the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period, will be granted ‘settled status’, also known as ‘indefinite leave’. 

EU citizens who do not have evidence that they have lived in the UK for the last five years, will be granted ‘pre-settled status’, also known as ‘limited leave’, until they reach the five year requirement when a new application will be required and full settlement will be granted.  

Irish citizens are not required to apply under the scheme in order to remain in the UK.

How to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme:-

  • Complete the on-line application form available from here.
  • Verify your identity - You will need to have a valid biometric passport or biometric residence card (issued by the Home Office) to apply.  This is undertaken using an ‘identity verification app’ which scans the chip in your passport.  You will need an android phone or tablet to download the app and scan your identity document.  
  • Verify your residence in the UK - You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK.  There are number of ways you can do this, for example by providing your National Insurance Number (if you have one) which will generate an automated check with HMRC records to establish continuous residence in the UK.  There may be cases where residence cannot be proven automatically in this way, and you will be asked to provide further evidence on your application.  Information on the other types of evidence you can use, can be found on Evidence of UK residence.  Alternatively, if you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain, you will just need to provide proof of that status.
  • Criminality check - You will need to complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This should not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.
  • Pay the application fee - £65. There will be no fee to pay for those applying after the 30 March 2019, if you apply before the 30 March, the £65 fee will be reimbursed. 

Useful links:-

You can sign up for updates from the UK Government on any Brexit news and developments that may affect your status in the UK as a student.

Blogs by EU students, Urszula and Marcel, who have successfully received their UK settlement status.

FreeMovement web resource provided by Seraphus Solicitors containing information on how to apply to the settlement scheme, advice on refusals, and links to other organisations.

Step-by-step tutorial on how to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

UKCISA is the UK Council for International Student Affairs who provide easy to understand advice to all international students on a wide range of issues from immigration to preparing to come and study in the UK.

If you require further advice, please contact the International Student Adviser on