Stay in Scotland - EU settlement scheme
The UK has now left the EU and we know that EU citizens have questions about what happens next and what they need to do.
We want you to stay in Scotland, but you will need to apply to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living, working and studying in the UK. So , to help, we’ve produced a package of support to guide you through the steps you need to take to stay in Scotland.
The information in this guide is in line with the Withdrawal Agreement, and relates to the EU Settlement Scheme which opened in full on 30 March 2019 . You must be resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 in order to apply. The EU Settlement Scheme will remain open until 30 June 2021.
If you’re an EU citizen living in Scotland, be sure of this: whatever happens, we promise to do all we can to help you stay. You are welcome
and valued here. You are our friends, our colleagues, our neighbours and in many cases our family. You are one of us.
EU citizens is used throughout this page and the attached documents and refers to EEA and Swiss nationals, who are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
What you need to know - Summary of your rights after the UK leaves the EU
The UK Government have said that EU citizens can continue to use their passport or national identity card as proof of their rights until 30 June 2021.
Employers have a duty not to discriminate against EU citizens in light of the UK’s Exit from the EU, as both a prospective and current employer.
The EU Settlement Scheme will be open until 30 June 2021. You must apply before the Scheme closes.
What you need to know - The UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
EU citizens and their families will have to apply to the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 in order to continue living,
working and studying in the UK after that date.
EU citizens who have been in the UK for five continuous years can apply for settled status. EU citizens who have been in the UK less than five years can apply for pre settled status. After five years continuous residency you can then apply for settled status.
Who is eligible to apply?
- EU citizens and any of their family members who are not UK citizens must apply
- Those with permanent residence documents must apply.
- Citizens of Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein and Switzerland must apply.
- Irish citizens do not need to apply, but can if they wish. There are separate arrangements for Irish citizens under the Common Travel Area. Non Irish non UK family members will need to apply.
- EU citizens with indefinite leave to remain or enter the UK ( ILR ) do not need to apply, but can apply if they wish to do so.
Family members of EU citizens
- Non EU family members will be able to apply to the Settlement Scheme as long as they can show that they have been resident in th e UK by 31 December 2020.
- Close family members who are not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to join EU citizens in the UK in the futur e. They will need to show that they have a relationship with the EU citizen and that it still exists when they apply to come to the UK.
What you need to know - How the EU Settlement Scheme works
How does the EU Settlement Scheme application process work?
- The application process is online, accessible via a computer, tablet or mobile phone.
- Applicants will need to provide factual information such as their name, address and details of identity documents like a passport or national identity card, and a National Insurance number.
There are three parts to the application:
Identity - applicants will have to verify their identity. You can do this by scanning their biometric passport, national identity card or residence card using the ‘EU Exit: ID document check’ app. To check if you can use the app on your device please visit the Home Office website at www.gov.uk/guidance/using-the-eu-exit-id-document-check-app
If you are unable to use the app you can v isit your nearest Citizens’ Advice Bureau, use a family member or friend’s device , or send your documents to the Home Office by post. ID document scanning centres are currently closed due to COVID 19.
Proof of residence - EU citizens will need to show they have been resident in the UK. National Insurance numbers can be used for an
automated check of government data. People without a National Insurance number will need to show other proof of residence.
Criminality - People will have to declare any criminal history in the UK or overseas as part of their application. The UK Government has
said that only serious or persistent criminality will affect applications.
Checklist supporting documentation to prove UK residence
Why might you need additional documentation?
If the UK Government’s automated checking system cannot verify your residence you may need to supply additional information. This may be because you don’t have a National Insurance number or because of gaps in the Government's data and records. The below is not an exhaustive list, but should help you identify the types of documents it will be useful to have. If you have made any recent name changes ensure that the name on bills, payslips etc. matches the name on your passport or ID.
- Passports and National ID cards If you do not have a valid passport or National ID card, or it’s close to expiry, you should make
- arrangements with your embassy or consulate to get a new one.
- Bills keep all council tax and utility bills (gas, electricity, water, TV licence, mainline mobile). If your name is not on the bil ls you may
- wish to get it added. You may also be able to use other bills with your name such as insurance, home repairs or veterinary.
- Housing rental or mortgage agreements can be used. Try to find old ones back as far as five years if possible.
- Employment or earnings letters from employers including contracts or periods of employment as well as payslips. Any
- correspondence with HMRC including P45s and P60s . Correspondence with DWP in relation to benefits or other payments.
- Education/health/other letters from education providers such as universities schools or colleges. Letter from the NHS or care homes.
You can find more information on how to provide evidence of your residence on the UK Government website page titled 'EU settlement Scheme: evidence of UK residence'. There is a link on this page.
Once you receive settled status (also known as indefinite leave to remain or enter) you will be able to stay in the UK for as long as you like and should be able to spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status .
You will be able to travel in and out of the UK, and apply for British Citizenship, if you are eligible
If you receive pre settled status (also known as limited leave to remain or enter) you will be able to stay in the UK for a period of five years. This will allow you to remain in the UK until you can show that you have lived continuously in the UK for five years in order to qualify for settled status . If you have pre settled status, you will be able to spend up to two years in a row outside the UK without losing your status.
You will also be able to travel in and out of the UK.
How can you access your status once granted?
If you are granted settled status or pre settled status , you will not receive a physical document or card. Your status will be stored electronically by the Home Office. Once you receive your status, details will be provided on how to access it on GOV.UK. Once granted settled status or pre settled status , you will be able to prove it and your rights to others online, including with employers and landlords.