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 here.

A link to the presentation of the latest information event can be found here.

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

The government has now fully open the EU Settlement Scheme. You must apply before 31 December  2020 to secure your right to live, work, study and receive services and benefits in the UK.

The easiest way to apply is to download the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app on your phone. Please note that the app which had previously only been available on Android devices is now available on iPhone 8 and above (shortly to be 7 and above). If you don’t have access to a suitable phone you can visit ID scanner locations.

Citizens Advice Wandsworth can help people who want to apply.

Please visit the ‘Get ready for Brexit‘ page on GOV.UK to find out what you, your family, or your business need to do if the UK leaves the EU with no deal.

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

You do not automatically get British citizenship if you were born in the UK. It depends on when you were born and your parents’ circumstances. Read more
EU citizens and their family members need to apply through the EU Settlement Scheme, to continue living in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme is free and open to EU citizens and their non-EU family members now. You'll have at least until until 31 December 2020 to submit an application. Read more
The EU Settlement Scheme allows EU citizens and their family members to continue to live and work in the UK after 31 December 2020. To make a successful application you just need to: prove your identity, prove that you live in the UK, declare any criminal convictions. Read more
Settled status is the replacement of Permanent Residence. It is the same as Indefinite Leave to Remain. Any of these can be pathways to British nationality. It is important to note that your Permanent Residence document will not be valid after 31 December 2020. You can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after that date.
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 fees. Read more
You can apply online here 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
It's free to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
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. Some applications have been completed within a few hours.
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 then 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.
That depends on whether the Withdrawal Agreement is passed by the UK government. 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. At the moment you do not lose settled status if you leave the UK for up to two years.
You cannot apply for British citizenship without either permanent residence, settled status or indefinite leave to remain. If you have permanent residence status, indefinite leave to remain or settled status, you can apply for British citizenship, usually after a further year of living in the UK. 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
Your Permanent Card will not be valid after 31 December 2020. You will need to swap your Permanent Residence card for Settled status free of charge, by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme before 31 December 2020.
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 except an email. No physical document will be issued. Evidence of your status will be sent to you in digital form and held digitally, attached to your passport. 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 living 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 31 December 2020. Your permanent residence document cease tp 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 a period of five years since the break. 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:

General information is available on the government website:

You can register for updates as the settled / pre-settled scheme goes live here:

This site publishes immigration advice:

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. If you have been in the UK for five years you’ll be considered for settled status; if you have less of five years residence, you’ll be considered for ‘pre-settled’ status.

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.

To secure your rights to continue living in the UK, you have to apply to 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 31 December 2020. The deadline could be extended to 30 June 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement is approved by UK Parliament.

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.


Further Information

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 a European Settlement Scheme Document Scanning Service, free for residents of the London Borough of Wandsworth (proof of residence required at the time of your appointment). Non resident fee: £14.

For the full range of Wandsworth Council Nationality and Citizenship services click here.