Advice for EU Citizens Living in Wandsworth

In partnership with Wandsworth Borough Council, Citizens Advice Wandsworth has established an advice service for EU Citizens living in Wandsworth.

If you have an enquiry, please complete our contact form by clicking here

Come to a free information session on December 3rd at Sellincourt School. For more information and to register to attend click here.

If you would like to sign up to receive e-mail alerts about EU Nationals rights, please click  here.

The government have announced their intention to offer EU nationals a settlement scheme based on residence in the UK. You can find more details about this offer here. Our updated presentation about the rights of EU nationals after Brexit is available here.

If you are an EU citizen living in the UK, it is important to note that your rights have not changed. Some laws will change in the future – but not immediately. Everything will stay the same until new laws are made. Please visit the Department for Exiting the European Union web site for the latest Brexit developments.

Download the service leaflet. The leaflet is also available in Polish EU Dzial Doradztwa and in Bulgarian Консултации за граждани от ЕС

FAQ – for EU Citizens & family members only

The UK will leave the European Union on 29th March 2019. Most EU citizens and their family members living in the UK will need to register to obtain settled or pre-settled status. You will need to have pre-settled status or settled status from July 2021. At the moment the intention is that there will be an implementation period running up to 31 December 2020 during which EU nationals can still arrive in the UK under EU law. The current proposal allows access to the settlement scheme to an EU national who is living in the UK by 31 December 2020. Read more
The scheme allows EU citizens and their family members to continue to live and work in the UK after 31 December 2020 (the end of the proposed implementation period). You will need to show 5 years continuous residence in the UK in order to qualify for settled status. Settled status means you have the same rights to work, study and access public services and benefits as you have now. Read more
Settled status is equivalent to Permanent Residence (or indefinite leave to remain). Both can be pathways to British nationality. (If you take British nationality, you cannot also hold settled status or permanent residence.)
If you have less than 5 years residence, you can apply for pre-settled status which is the pathway to settled status. As time passes, and you reach 5 years residence, you can apply for settled status without paying any further fees. Read more
The scheme will open by March 2019. It is likely that the scheme will open to different areas or groups in phases. Citizens Advice Wandsworth will keep citizens up to date via the website. Read more
When the scheme opens, most people will access the application online. You’ll be able to do this on a computer, a tablet or a smartphone. If you need help to do things online, you will be able to get support over the phone or in person. Read more
You need to prove your identity: a valid passport or EU nationality card. Then you will need to provide a facial image which can be checked against the one in your identity document (you can do this via the scheme’s smartphone app or you can upload your photo, or if necessary send it by post). If you are not an EU national and you do not already have a biometric residence card, you will also need to supply fingerprints.

You will need to show that you have been living in the UK: You’ll need to supply your National Insurance number if you have one. The Home Office will use this to check your residence in the UK. If you don’t have a National Insurance number or there isn’t enough data about you to check your residence, you will need to provide other evidence (eg P60s, utility bills, bank statements). Read more
No. There is no requirement to have been exercising your treaty rights. If you have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years (‘continuous residence’) and can demonstrate that, you will be eligible for settled status (or pre-settled status if you have been continuously resident in the UK for less than five years).
No. Lawfully claiming benefits by an EU citizen is not a criterion for exclusion from the right to stay in the UK.
Yes. There will be a criminality and security check for all applicants who are aged 10 or over. You will have to declare all criminal convictions. However, only serious or persistent offences will affect your application. Read more
The application for each adult 16 years or over is £65 and £32.50 for each child. The cost is one-off: if you have pre-settled status and accrue 5 years residence, there is no further charge to registering settled status. If you already have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain there is no charge to transfer to settled status. Read more
The UK Home Office have said that the aim is to turn around applications in 14 days. However, this timing will vary according to the volume of current applications. When the scheme opens, it is likely that there will be a great rush of applications which may slow the decision time.
The current plan is that EU citizens and their family members who enter the UK before 31st December 2020 will have the right to apply for settled status to remain in the UK. Almost all such citizens must apply for settled or pre-settled status by 30th June 2021 to remain in the UK. An exception is those who already have Indefinite Leave to Remain. This status will continue to exist after the UK leaves the EU, so you do not have to do anything, but can swap it for settled status if you wish.
The current plan is that if you were living here before the end of the implementation period, you will be able to leave and enter the UK and other EU states with a valid passport or identity card if you are an EU national (or a valid passport if you are a non-EU family member). After five years from the end of the implementation period however, the UK won't have to accept identity cards unless they contain biometric information. These arrangements are in the draft Withdrawal Agreement which has not yet been signed. In any case, in order to secure your right to live in the UK after 30th June 2021, most EU citizens will need to apply for settled or pre-settled status. Once you have that, you won't be required to show any sort of entry or exit visa. Read more
If you leave the UK for 5 years or more your settled status could lapse. This has not been confirmed by UK parliament.
Like permanent residence, settled status is the pathway to British citizenship. If you have permanent residence status, indefinite leave to remain or settled status, you can apply for British citizenship, usually after a minimum of six years' residence. Read more
Irish citizens will not be required to apply under the scheme. The intention is that nothing changes for them, in immigration terms, because of Brexit. Read more
Not immediately. As long as you still meet the conditions you have not lost your permanent residence, but you will need to swap your permanent residence card for settled status free of charge. It is possible to lose permanent residence, but only if you have subsequently left the UK for over two years (or in exceptional circumstances where residence rights are taken away because of public security). You will need to apply to swap your permanent residence card by the deadline of 30 June 2021.
You do not need to do anything as you already have indefinite leave to remain and this continues to apply after the UK leaves the EU. However, if you want to, you can apply to the EU settlement scheme free of charge.
Most people will not get anything. No physical document will be issued. Evidence of your status will be sent to you in digital form and held digitally. However, non-EU family members will be issued with a biometric residence document if they do not already have one.
Yes, the five years only require you to have been here as an EU national or a family member. It doesn’t matter what you have been doing. The application process will ask you to provide your National Insurance number, which may be enough to show you have been resident here. If more information is required, you can use evidence such as tenancy agreements, bills etc.
I have indefinite leave to remain / permanent residence with a biometric card
You will need to swap your permanent residence card for settled status free of charge by the deadline of 30 June 2021. Your permanent residence document will not be valid after 31 December 2020. You can change your permanent residence document for settled status by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme. You will not have to pay or prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.

I am a non-EU family member with a family permit which has an expiry date
You will need to apply for settled / pre-settled status. Read more

I am a non-EU family member with a residence card
If you are a non-EU family member or an extended family member, you will need to apply for settled / pre-settled status. Read more
<>br If you're an EU national & you derive rights from another EU national, you don't need to worry, you can just use your residence for the settlement scheme like any other EU national
If you have been out of the UK for more than 6 months in any 12 month period then that will break your five years. If this applies to you, you will need to have another period of five years when you weren’t out of the UK for that long. You can have a longer period of absence (a single period which is no more than 12 months), but only for an important reason such as pregnancy, childbirth, illness, study or possibly being posted overseas. If you have ever served a sentence of imprisonment of any length in the UK then you should get advice as you may not be able to get settled status based on a five year period during which you were serving a prison sentence.
This site has an introduction to the scheme and a video:
https://eucitizensrights.campaign.gov.uk/

General information is available on the government website:
www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families

You can register for updates as the settled / pre-settled scheme goes live here:
gov.smartwebportal.co.uk/homeoffice/public/webform.asp?id=67&id2=627DF7

This site publishes immigration advice:
www.freemovement.org.uk/

Questions about the Settlement / Pre-settlement scheme:

No. There will be three methods of showing your identity:
  1. Using the HO app to scan and upload your passport / id card
  2. Face to face at certain public locations
  3. Posting in your id. However, the HO expects to keep the identification documents only to record identity: a matter of days.
With the caveat that nothing about Brexit is legally confirmed until everything is signed (“nothing is agreed until everything is agreed”), the arrangement is in the withdrawal agreement that has been agreed, though not signed.

Any family member of an EU citizen is eligible to apply for permanent residence or settled status, depending on when they apply.

Under the EU settlement scheme, family members who come from a third (ie non-EU) country will get a biometric residence document. For EU family members, like everyone else applying to the scheme, there is no physical document.

Post June 2021 there will also be provision for family reunion.

Settled status is an immigration status, not nationality. You retain your nationality. The UK has no issues about dual nationality. Check your country of origin for their position. Read more

EU citizen’s children under 21 years are eligible for settled status. Full settled status allows absences of up to 5 years.

Pre-settled status requires applicants to spend at least 6 months in each year in the UK. You can spend two years outside the UK without losing pre-settled status.

Settled status is an online status only. It is available to employers and border agents. An employer gets access to your online status.

You will also receive an email or where appropriate, a letter, stating that you have settled status. Settled status is linked to your identity document, so it is electronically read by machine. The only people who get a physical document are non-EU national family members, who will be issued with biometric residence documents.

With both pre-settled and settled status you continue to have the same rights as you do now to live, work, study and access public services and benefits, according to the same rules as now.

Pre-settled status is the pathway to settled status. You need to show 5 years continuous residence in the UK to get settled status, being in the UK for at least 6 months of every year.

Pre-settled status lapses after an absence longer than two years. Settled status may lapse after an absence longer than five years. This has not been decided by the UK parliament.

Settled status needs to be established (or for the time being, permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain) before UK nationality can be awarded.
Children inherit the status of their parents.
If a relationship exists before December 31st 2020, a fiancé(e) will be eligible to enter under family reunion provision.
Documentation required will only need to show you were continuously resident in the UK for 5 years (or more). Utility bills, bank statements etc.
The employer’s toolkit gives general information about employment and EU citizens' status so it is equally applicable to self employed.
Settled status is the pathway to UK citizenship. If you want to obtain UK citizenship you must apply for settled status unless you already have permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain.

We cannot give immigration advice. This is your decision.

It may be worth noting that the permanent residence application is 85 pages long and requires a great deal of supporting evidence that must be continuous.

Settled status application is planned to be an extremely simple three stage process and has less onerous requirements: establish your id and nationality; show 5 years continuous residence; report criminal convictions. However, you will have to wait a further year after being granted settled status before you can apply for British citizenship, unless you are the spouse or civil partner of a British citizen.

What is the government intending to offer EU citizens?

EU citizens living in the UK after we leave the EU

If you already have indefinite leave to remain, or you are an Irish citizen, you won’t have to do anything. Other EU citizens and family members will need to make an application to the new EU settlement scheme. Full details of the scheme haven’t been approved yet, and you cannot apply now. If you have been in the UK for five years you will be able to apply for settled status. If not, but you came to the UK before 31 December 2020, you’ll be able to apply for ‘pre-settled’ status.

© Crown copyright The content is available under the Open Government Licence v3.0

Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know

The government regularly publishes information about the status of European Union citizens, and their families, living in the UK as the negotiations to leave the EU progress.

Click here to sign-up for email alerts to receive the latest information about the negotiations progress and the next steps for EU nationals in the UK.

There will be an application process for UK immigration status through the EU settlement scheme. You don’t need to apply if you are an Irish citizen or you have indefinite leave to remain. Otherwise, you will need to apply by 30 June 2021. The scheme is not yet open and for now, your rights remain exactly the same.

Contact Us

To get in touch with us, you can fill in the contact form  or call our Advice Line. For details of all our services, click here.

You may also find the following to on-line information useful. It is important to stress that despite the Brexit referendum result, your rights have not changed. Some laws will change in the future – but not immediately. Everything will stay the same until new laws are made. Please visit the Department for Exiting the European Union web site for the latest Brexit developments.

If you’re an EU citizen living in the UK, your rights to live, work or get benefits won’t change unless the government passes new laws. If you’re a UK citizen living in the EU or travelling to the EU, your rights won’t change yet either.

Further Information

You don’t need to take any action now. Changes to the law will be announced before they happen, so you’ll have time to prepare if you’re affected.

If you think you’ve been discriminated against since the referendum, for example if you’ve been unfairly refused work or housing, or told your rights have changed, you should contact us for advice. If you think you have been subjected to hate crime – violence or hostility because of who you are, please contact us or see the Council’s web site.

Claiming benefits as an EEA national

Immigration control and EEA nationals

Wandsworth Council offers services for EU citizens living in the borough who are applying for Citizenship, Indefinite Leave to Remain, Permanent Residence etc, including the European Passport Return Service. This is helpful to applicants for permanent residence as it allows them to keep their passports while their application is being processed. For the full range of Nationality and Citizenship services click here.