The Home Office EU Settlement Schemes provides EU citizens and their families with a route to living and working in the UK beyond 31 December 2020.
Whether the UK makes a deal with the EU or not, EU citizens living in the UK before the agreed date of departure will be able to apply to stay in the UK via the EU Settlement Scheme.
Applying to the scheme
The EU Settlement Scheme is open to all EEA citizens meeting the eligibility criteria.
To make an application, please visit the government website. This process was previously only possible on Android devices, but as of October 2019 the application can be completed using an iPhone/Apple iOS device using the latest operating system.
EEA citizens will have until at least 31 December 2020 to apply for their settled or pre-settled status.
The links below provide all of the information that you and your EU health and social care sector staff need to complete an application. Please encourage your EU workers to complete an application by making this information available to them.
- Employer toolkit - this resource contains an overview of the EU Settlement Scheme and provides you with a range of tools and information to help you support your EU staff and their families to apply to the scheme.
- Email template – this is a draft email for you to send to staff who are eligible to apply. Please feel free to tailor this as required or to replicate the content for your other internal channels.
On 25 March 2019 the government launched a national marketing campaign to encourage EU citizens in the UK to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. Full details of the campaign can be found on the government website.
The process for EU citizens
Your 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.
If the UK leaves the EU with a deal, the deadline for applications will be 30 June 2021. In the event of a no deal, the deadline for applications will be 31 December 2020. Applications will be free of charge.
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.
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. Note that it is currently not necessary to prove status and candidates are able to show their identity documents as normal until 31 December 2020 if preferred.
Background and testing of the scheme
The Home Office ran the first pilot with 13 NHS trusts in the North West and three education providers followed by a second pilot for the health and social care sector to fully test the application process and ensure the scheme was ready for launch in March 2019. Read private beta testing phase 1 report and private beta testing phase 2 report to find out more.
The EU Settlement Scheme then opened for a public testing phase from 21 January 2019 until the scheme was fully launched on 30 March 2019.
On 21 January 2019, the former Prime Minister Theresa May announced that from 30 March 2019 (when the system was fully launched) EU citizens and their families will not be charged an application fee. Anyone who has already applied and paid a fee during the test phases is eligible for a refund.
Refunds will be automatically paid to the account that was charged and an email will be sent to the contact address provided in the application to confirm that the refund has been processed. If your EU staff have not received a refund, they will need to contact the Home Office resolution centre.
More information on refunds can be found on the government website.
Detailed information and guidance for your EU staff and their families can be found on the GOV.UK website.