EU Settlement Scheme

Find details and resources to support EU staff with applications in this section.

22 January 2024

The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020. As part of the transition towards ending its membership with the EU, the government implemented the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens living in the UK before 31 December 2020 were able to prove their right to work and live in the UK using the EU Settlement Scheme. EU citizens who arrived on or after 1 January 2021 are subject to the new immigration system. 

The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EEA citizens meeting the eligibility criteria. 

The government has announced from September 2023 that people with pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme will automatically have their status extended by two years before it expires if they have not obtained settled status. The Home Office also intends to take steps to automatically convert as many eligible pre-settled status holders as possible to settled status once they are eligible for it (without them needing to make an application).

The Home Office has now allowed those who mistakenly applied for permanent residency cards after the referendum to make a late application for EU settled status if they were unaware of the scheme.

A number of resources are available below to support your staff to understand their eligibility and apply to the scheme.

Preparing for the EU Settlement Scheme application deadline | NHS EmployersGuidance on supporting individuals to sign up to the EU Settlement Scheme before the window for applications closed on 30 June 2021. This also includes a description of situations when late applications to the scheme can be made.
Preparing for the new points-based immigration system and securing EU citizen rights webinar | NHS Employers and the Home OfficeThis recording discusses the new points-based immigration system, what this means for the overseas recruitment, and the latest resources available and information on the EU settlement scheme. Also includes comprehensive FAQ's.
Encouraging your workforce to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme | NHS EmployersThis resource includes good practice examples of support NHS organisations have offered their EU staff.
The new points based immigration system | NHS EmployersCollated guidance to assist employers to navigate the new system points-based immigration system.
Eligibility for EU Settlement Scheme flowchart | NHS EmployersA flowchart to help your staff understand whether they are eligible for the scheme or not.
EU Settlement Scheme webinar | NHS EmployersA recording of our webinar with Capsticks LLP, discussing the political context and ways of supporting staff.
Employer toolkit | Gov.ukThis resource contains an overview of the EU Settlement Scheme and provides a range of tools and information to help you support your EU staff and their families to apply to the scheme, including posters and social media content to share with your staff.

Making late applications to the scheme

The deadline to apply to the scheme was 30 June 2021. If you have reasonable grounds to make a late application, please visit the government website.

When making a late application, EU staff will need to follow three simple steps when making their application:

  • confirm their identity
  • demonstrate that they live in the UK
  • declare that they have no serious criminal convictions.

For those EU staff who already have a valid permanent residence documentation, they will be able to exchange it for pre-settled or settled status for free.

Those with indefinite leave to enter/remain in the UK or have British or Irish citizenship do not need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

The ID checking process can be completed on Android devices (6.0 and above) and iPhone devices (iPhone 7 and above). The process is free of charge. 

Demonstrating settled status

EU staff are able to view and prove their settled status online using the GOV.UK website. Using this service, staff will be able to obtain a code to share with employers that will evidence their status. EEA nationals can no longer rely on an EEA passport or national identity card and will need to demonstrate their right to work either by proving their pre-settled or settled status or with a visa under the points-based immigration system

Recording status

The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) includes fields to record and report on pre and settled status to ensure EU Settlement Scheme information can be suitably recorded.