EU Settlement Scheme Guide

Everything you need to know about the EU Settlement Scheme

What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme allows EU citizens to continue to study, work and live in the UK post-Brexit.

If the UK leaves the EU with a deal

The rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021.

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal

You will need to have been living in the UK by 12 April 2019 to apply for the Settlement Scheme. The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.

Who needs to apply?

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.

You may be able to stay in the UK without applying - for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain.


It’s free to apply for the scheme.

What documents do I need before I start my application?

Applying for the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status) is quite an easy process to complete. However, be prepared to provide some of your contact and personal details twice (email address, phone number).

1. Proof of your identity

Have your phone with you, as the Home Office will send you a text message with an access code in order to progress your application.

You need to have:

  • Passport or national identity card (you will be asked to provide the document number and document expiry date if applicable)

The Home Office will tell you immediately after you apply if you need to provide any documents. You’ll be able to submit photos or scans of your documents through the online application form.

When you apply, you can either:

  • Use the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app to scan your document and send your photo - you need to use an Android phone to do this
  • Send your document by post and upload your photo using the online application (you can take this yourself)

2. Proof of continuous residence

To be eligible for settled status, you usually need to have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least six months in any 12-month period for five years in a row. You need to provide proof of this when you apply.

If you’ve not lived here for five years in a row, you may still be eligible for pre-settled status. You can give your National Insurance number to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records.

3. Your photograph

As part of the online application, you will be asked to upload a recent digital photo of your face.

If this check is successful, you won't need to provide any documents as proof of residence. You’ll only need to provide documents if you have been here for five years in a row, but there is not enough data to confirm this.

Read what documents you can provide to the Home Office if you’re asked to provide more evidence.

4. Criminal convictions

If you’re 18 or over, the Home Office will check you have not committed serious or repeated crimes and that you don’t pose a security threat. You’ll be asked about your criminal history in the UK and overseas. You’ll also be checked against the UK’s crime databases. If you’ve only been convicted of a minor crime, for example, you’ve had a speeding fine, you’ll still be eligible for settled or pre-settled status. You may still get settled or pre-settled status even if you have other convictions. This will be judged on a case-by-case basis. If you’ve been to prison, you usually need five years’ continuous residence from the day you were released to be considered for settled status.

When can you apply?

The EU Settlement Scheme is open. You can apply now if you meet the criteria.

The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.

Which status you get may depend on when you apply.

More information regarding the EU Settlement Scheme can be found at