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What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme has been created by the UK Government for people from the EU, EEA or Switzerland and their family members who were living in the UK by 31st December 2020, and for some family members who wish to join them in the UK.

It is free to apply and applications must be made before 30th June 2021.

Settled status provides EU nationals, and their family members [if they are eligible], with the right to live and work in the UK. Pre-settled status will allow people to apply for settled status when they have lived in the UK for 5 continuous years.

If you already have Permanent Resident status you still need to apply.

How do I apply?

Please visit: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

The first stage of the process is to confirm your identity by uploading your ID and a photograph. Once this is done, you complete the application online.

The process is usually straight forward and all members of the family have to apply individually, including children.

If you are unsure about whether or how to apply you can contact Citizens Advice in West Sussex for further information:

  • Call Adviceline: 0808 278 7969 (Monday to Friday, 9.00am-4.30pm)
  • Send us an email – click here
  • Other ways of contacting us – click here

Please, scroll down to find answers to some commonly asked questions and information for employers.
All details were correct at the time of going to press.

EU Settlement Scheme frequently asked questions
Please click on the sections below to access the information.
Information for EU, EEA or Swiss citizens and their families

Who can apply for settled or pre-settled status?

Any EU national or their family member can apply as long as they were living in the UK by 31st December 2020. Family members who were not living in the UK by 31st December 2020 may still be eligible to apply but there are different rules depending on  whether the family member is an EU National themselves or not. Please refer to https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families/join-EU-EEA-Swiss-family-member

To be eligible for pre-settled status you will have to show that you had lived in the UK for one day. For settled status, you will have to show that you have lived in the UK for 5 continuous years.

If an eligible family member wants to come to the UK. If they arrive on or after 1st April 2021 they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of the date they arrive in the UK .

I already have permanent residence. Do I need to apply?

Yes. People who have previously been granted permanent residence need to apply.

Why should I apply for settled or pre-settled status?

If you or your family members want to stay in the UK after 30th June 2021 you will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status.  Getting settled or pre settled status will protect your rights to continue to work, to rent housing, to access the NHS, and to access benefits in the UK. If you gain Pre-settled status when you have lived in the UK for 5 years you can apply for settled status.

When you complete the application the process will provide confirmation as to whether you can be awarded settled or pre-settled status.

What happens if I do not apply or am not granted settled or pre-settled status?

The process for applying is straight forward. If you are not planning to stay in the UK you do not have to apply. Most people who have applied have been successful in their application. If you have a problem with applying there is a range of help available. If you live or work in Mid Sussex you can get help from a Citizens Advice caseworker.

If you do not apply you will not be eligible to stay in the UK and are likely to lose access to the right to work, rent property, and access to the NHS or to receive benefits.

What happens if I was not living in the UK by 31st December 2020 and I don’t have a family member who was living in the UK before that date?

In most cases you must have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020. If you arrived on or after 1st January 2021, you may need to apply for a visa instead.


Is there a deadline for applying?

Yes. The deadline is 30th June 2021.

How do I apply?

The information is all on the GOV.UK website. You are expected to apply online.


First of all you need to upload a copy of your ID document and a current photograph. Then you complete the online application.

Once you have completed the application you should get an indication straight away as to whether you will be offered settled or pre-settled status. You will also be told if there was a problem with your application and if more information is needed.

There is a lot of support to help you apply. If you live or work in Mid Sussex you can contact the EU Settlement Caseworker who will help you through the process.

EUMidSussex@westsussexcab.org.uk – send us your contact details and we will contact you back.


Information for employers

What is the EU Settlement Scheme and why is it important to me?

The rights of people from the EU and their families to live and work in the UK has changed.

The UK government set up the EU Settlement Scheme to support people from the EU and their family members, who were living in the UK by 31st December 2020, to apply for settled or pre-settled status to give them the opportunity to stay in the UK and to continue working.

Amongst your workforce, you may have a number of people who are from the EU or who are family members of people from the EU. They may not be aware that they need to apply to retain their rights in the UK.

You may have many valued and important employees who you would not want to lose from your workforce.

You can provide information to your employees about the EU settlement scheme and how to apply.


The final deadline for applying is 30th June 2021. 

Self-help information

Please click here to access the UK Government information on the EU Settlement Scheme.

If you would like to read information about the EU Settlement Scheme in a different language, please click here.

Please click here to access a step-by-step guide in the GOV.UK website.

For more information, please visit the Citizens Advice website: www.citizensadvice.org.uk

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