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Life After Brexit for EU Nationals

Updated: Feb 8

Now that Brexit is upon us, what next for EU nationals who want to remain in the UK?


If you are an EU national living in the UK and you want to continue to stay in the UK, now is the time to make an application.

The UK finally left the EU on 31 January 2020 and is now in a transition period until the end of 2020 while negotiations with the EU take place on further arrangements. In the meantime, the current rules on travel and other sectors for the UK and EU will remain in place during the transition period. It is anticipated that new rules (including immigration rules) will come in from 1 January 2021.


If you are an EU national living in the UK and you want to continue to stay in the UK, now is the time to make an application. After 31 December 2020, it is expected that the new rules will affect your immigration status and may require you to prove your right to stay in the UK for more than 3 months, as well as your right to work, study or use the NHS.


How can I prove my right to stay in the UK after 31 December 2020?


You will need to show one of the following:

  • Pre-settled status, or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme; or

  • British citizenship

Which application can I make now?


It depends on how long you have lived in the UK and your current immigration status and history.


Less than 5 years in the UK

  • If you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years (including, as little as 1 day in the last 6 months), you can apply for pre-settled status.

  • This includes EU nationals who are currently living in an EU country but want to move to the UK, such as family members. But they must do so before 31 December 2020.

  • Pre-settled status will give you the right to work and live in the UK for 5 years.

5 years in the UK

  • If you have lived in the UK for 5 years continuously, you can apply for settled status or British citizenship.

  • Settled status will give you the right to work and live in the UK indefinitely, and you can bring your family to join you in the UK.

  • You can also apply for British citizenship after 12 months of getting settled status or in some cases you may be entitled to British citizenship straightaway.

  • You can also apply for British citizenship without going through the EU Settlement Scheme. However, you will need to apply for a permanent residence document first.

Retired, State Pensioner, or out of work due to illness

  • If you are retired, or reached State Pension age, or you have had to stop working due to illness or an accident and you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, you may be entitled to settled status straightaway.

Whether you are successful in making an application will depend on your specific circumstances and presenting the right documentation. It is advisable that you start the process now to allow plenty of time to gather relevant information and documentation, and to resolve your status before it is too late.


Contact us for a free initial consultation to discuss your specific case and which application is right for you.

Regulatory & Disclaimer

Broadlegal is the trading name of Broadlegal Ltd incorporated in England & Wales Reg. No. 11306683 with registered office address at Ludgate House, 107-111 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2AB. This firm is not regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). However, we are authorised by the SRA to provide non-reserved legal services under SRA No. 666810. Our legal services are provided by solicitors who are personally authorised and regulated by the SRA. Please note that not all services advertised on this website are directly provided by this firm. Some services (reserved) are provided by our solicitors through our partner firm, Queenscourt Law,  authorised and regulated by the SRA under SRA No. 664348. 

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