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Rights of residents from the EU

Brexit: rights of residents from the EU

Find out how Brexit will affect the rights of EU residents.

We will not know how Britain exiting the European Union will affect EU citizens living in the UK until Parliament approves a withdrawal agreement with the EU.

Until we leave, the rights of non-UK EU citizens and their family members to live and work in the UK will remain the same.

The Government says it intends to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK after Brexit.

However, this is subject to negotiations with the EU and the final Brexit deal.

See government guidance in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Immigration status of EU citizens

When the UK leaves the EU, all EU citizens and their families in the UK will need to obtain immigration status.

This may be either:

  • a residency document
  • settled status
  • citizenship.

The immigration status you can apply for will be depend on your circumstances and certain requirements. The Home Office will provide more information in due course.

If you are a UK permanent resident, you have the right to live permanently in the UK. Permanent residence refers to your residence status and does not affect your citizenship.

Settlement scheme for EU citizens

The Government has so far advised that there is no need for EU citizens to apply for a permanent residence document now.

A new settlement scheme will be available for EU citizens and their family members to apply to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU. At a later date the Home Office will decide the criteria for this scheme.

We understand that the settlement scheme for EU citizens will open during 2019 to help those arriving before the end of 2020 to apply for permanent residency.

See government guidance on settled and pre-settled status for EU citizens and their families.

The Greater London Authority also provides comprehensive advice and information for EU citizens living in London.

Draft immigration rules for the EU settlement scheme

The draft rules for the settlement scheme confirm that:

  • applications will be via a short online process
  • there is no cost and if you paid before 30 March 2019 you will have the fee refunded.

Get advice on your rights

For advice about your rights and to help you find a solicitor:

Information for EU students

If you are an EU citizen studying or planning to study in the borough, you can find out how Brexit might affect you from The UK Council for International student affairs. Goldsmiths, University of London also offer advice to students from abroad who are, or are considering, studying there.

For more guidance and advice

There are many other sources of information, advice and guidance, including: