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What does ‘settled status’ mean for EU citizens after a no-deal Brexit?

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Posted in: Brexit, Immigration
Date published: 08/04/2019

Whilst the Prime Minister, Theresa May, is fighting to implement the agreement she negotiated with the EU (‘’Withdrawal Agreement’’), both leave and remain campaigners, and most importantly the EU nationals and businesses in the UK, are now desperate to know the decision and tired of the long period of uncertainty.

Since the 29 March 2019 a scheme for settled and pre-settled status applications for EU nationals opened up fully to ensure that their right to live in the UK after Brexit  is protected.

Despite the fact that so far there is no agreement to implement the deal negotiated by the Prime Minister, it seems that the framework for the EU nationals’ status in the UK is being enforced.

In accordance with the proposal,  EU nationals would fall into two categories:

  • Settled status: those EU nationals who are able to evidence a continuous five-year period of residence in the UK;
  • Pre-settled status: those  EU citizens and family members who have not lived in the UK for a continued period of five years  at the date of application. They can continue to live in Britain until they reach the five years of continuing residence, then apply to change their pre-settled to settled status.

The  ‘’Withdrawal agreement’’, that the Prime Minister is still hoping to see through as we leave the EU,  allows for an implementation period until 31 December 2020. If the agreement is not reached in respect of leaving the EU,  the current guidance is that this would be the deadline for all EU nationals (unless they are holding a British Passport) to apply for either settled or pre-settled status.

The decision on whether EU nationals are eligible to gain settled or pre-settled status will be made based on the date a person entered the UK and the length of residence. Providing that the UK leaves the EU with a deal, an eligible applicant would have to be living in the UK before the end of implementation period, if we leave without a deal, by 12 April 2019.

It does seem that the EU nationals coming to the UK following 12 of April 2019, if we leave with no deal, or after the end of implementation period, may need a permit to work in the UK, as well as employers who may need to apply for a licence to be able to offer work to workers who are not settled in the UK.

If you are an EU citizen who needs advice or assistance in the application process under the new settlement scheme, get in touch with one of our specialist immigration solicitors today.

For a confidential discussion about your immigrations status, discussing the best option for securing your future in the UK, please contact Iwona Durlak at or Maria Mazurenko at or call us on 0330 107 0107 (calls are charged at local rate).

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.

Published by:

Iwona DurlakSenior Partner

Immigration Law – IMD Solicitors LLP

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