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Residents and visitors

Find out how Brexit will affect the rights of residents and visitors.

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. The Home Office also offers advice on immigration arrangements for EU citizens moving to the UK after Brexit if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.

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

A new settlement scheme is available for EU citizens and their family members to apply to stay in the UK after it leaves the EU.

The settlement scheme for EU citizens will 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.

Help with settled status applications

We can help EU, EEA and Swiss citizens with the ID verification part of their application for settled or pre-settled status.

In order to apply for settled status, you need to have your identification documents checked. If you have a compatible android phone or tablet, you can use a special app to scan your ID yourself. Alternatively, you can bring your ID document to us, where we can scan and verify it for you. You will then be able to make your application.

We won’t need to keep your ID and in most cases you shouldn’t be asked to send it anywhere else during your application.

There is no cost for this service which is only available to Lewisham residents and Lewisham Council staff.

The service operates from the Customer Service Centre, Ground Floor, Laurence House, SE6 4RU, Monday to Friday 1–4pm.

You will need to bring:

  • your current valid biometric passport or a valid Biometric Residence Permit for family members of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
  • a mobile phone that can receive text messages or a device that can receive email
  • proof of address issued in the last six months - such as a council tax bill, utility bill, tenancy agreement or mortgage statement.

Only the ID documents listed above can be checked by us. If you don’t have one of these documents, please visit the GOV.UK website for advice and information.

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: