If you or your close family member were living in the UK before 31 December 2020 you may be able to apply to the free EU Settlement Scheme instead of applying for a visa. If you’re joining your close family member, they must be a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
If you are already in the UK you can continue to live in the UK, the UKVI have provided a tool to find out what to do and when, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/staying-uk-eu-citizen/y
If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, you’ll be able to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
You’ll be given either:
- settled status
- pre-settled status
Status will depend on how long you’ve been living in the UK when you apply. Your rights will be different depending on which status you get.
You’ll usually get settled status if you’ve:
- started living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)
Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. The exceptions are:
- one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
- compulsory military service of any length
- time you spent abroad as a Crown servant, or as the family member of a Crown servant
- time you spent abroad in the armed forces, or as the family member of someone in the armed forces
If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you’ll usually get pre-settled status. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
You can then apply to change this to settled status once you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before your pre-settled status expires.
If you’ll reach 5 years’ continuous residence at some point by 31 December 2020, you can choose to wait to apply until you reach 5 years’ continuous residence. This means that if your application is successful, you’ll get settled status without having to apply for pre-settled status first.
You can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get pre-settled status.
We strongly encourage our EU students to apply for the Settlement Scheme as soon as possible. We also strongly recommend that incoming EU students arrive in the UK before 31 December 2020 to ensure their eligibility for the Scheme, you will then have until 30 June 2021 to apply.