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EU Nationals - Current rights

The EU Settlement Scheme

The UK is expected to leave the European Union in October 2019.

This page talks about your current rights, and when and how you can apply for settled status or permanent residence.

 

Announcement by the Home Secretary regarding Freedom of Movement

Following recent reports in the news regarding freedom of movement, please see this statement by the Home Office

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact RCN Direct to arrange an appointment with the Immigration Advice Service

What are my current rights?

The United Kingdom is expected to leave the European Union at 23:59 on the 31st October 2019. 

Until that point, citizens of the EU* and EEA** currently have the right to reside in the United Kingdom for three months after their arrival if they fall into the following categories:

  • Worker
  • Job seeker
  • Economically Self-Sufficient (with comprehensive sickness insurance)
  • Student (with comprehensive sickness insurance)

Until the UK leaves the EU, the UK remains a full member of the EU. EU and EEA nationals retain their legal status with a right to reside in the UK.

*EU     

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK

**EEA  Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway

 

Can I still apply for a Permanent Residence card?

Until the UK leaves the EU, you are still able to apply for a Permanent Residence Card if you can show that you have lived in the UK for five years continuously in any one, or a combination of any of the four categories shown above.

You will not be able to apply for a Permanent Residence card after the UK leaves the EU.

You must obtain either a Permanent Residence card or be granted Settled Status through the EU Settlement Scheme before you can apply for British Citizenship.

If you apply for Settled Status and decide that you would like to apply for British Citizenship at that point, you will have to wait at least 12 months from the date you are granted Settled Status to do so. 

Who should apply for Settle Status?

Settled Status: EU nationals and non-EU family members can apply for Settled Status if they have resided in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years.

Pre-Settled Status: EU nationals and their non-EU family members can apply for Pre-Settled status if they have resided in the UK for less than 5 years.

Having Comprehensive Sickness Insurance is not a requirement to apply for Settled or Pre-Settled status.

Please note, the following people will not be required to apply for Settled Status:

  • Citizens of the Republic of Ireland
  • EU nationals with an Indefinite Leave to Remain document
  • Individuals with a Returning Resident Visa

What will happen after the 31st October 2019?

EU and Non-EU Family members who have a Permanent Residence Card

If you already have a Permanent Residence card (or Permanent Residence certificate), after the UK leaves the EU you must convert this to Settled Status. Your card will not be valid after the 31st December 2020. 

The deadline for applying with be the 30th June 2021, or the 31st December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

The EU Settlement Scheme is already fully open. For more information on how to apply, please visit the Government's website.

EU nationals and their family members who do not have a Permanent Residence card by 31st October 2019

If you have not obtained a Permanent Residence card or certificate before the UK leaves the EU, you must apply for Settled Status. 

The deadline for applying with be the 30th June 2021, or the 31st December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

Please note, the following people will not have to apply for Settled Status after the 29th March 2019:

  • Citizens of the Republic of Ireland
  • EU nationals with an Indefinite Leave to Remain document
  • Individuals with a Returning Resident Visa

See Applying for settled status on the Gov.uk website.


Further Advice

Please get in contact with the RCN’s Immigration Advice Service if you are concerned about your situation, particularly if you think it may be difficult to obtain documents such as proof of work.

If you are a non-EU family member and you are having difficulty proving your status because of domestic violence or for some other reason, you should contact the Immigration Advice Service as soon as possible.

Immigration

If you're an RCN member already in the UK, you can get free, confidential support and assistance on immigration issues.