For citizens of the European Union, the EEA or Switzerland - what to expect after Brexit.  

This is a simplification of the information available on the UK government and English UK websites and explains what we expect to happen. For the latest official information go to the official government website.

This page was last updated on 20th March 2019.

Can I visit and study in the UK? Yes. Will I need a visa? No. More information…

Can I live, work and study in the UK? before December 2020, Yes. Will I need a visa? No. More information…

Can I live, work and study in the UK? after 1st January 2021, probably yes. Will I need a visa? It depends. More information…

Brexit Information for EU citizens

 

Study or Visit

Arrival in the UK before 31st December 2020

EU (and EEA and Swiss) Nationals can go to the UK to visit and study as before. You will probably not notice the difference compared with before Brexit.

 

Arrival in the UK after 1st January 2021

After 1st January 2021 you will probably need a passport (not just your National Identity card) but you will not need a visa. You may need to apply online for Travel Authorisation (ETA) but this should be easy and very cheap. If you want to study for 6 – 12 months, you should ask for a Short Term Study Visa when you arrive at the airport.

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement and you want to stay more than 3 months. You can get permission to stay in the UK called “European Leave to Remain”. You apply for this online after you arrive in the UK which gives the right to live, study and work in the UK for up to 3 years.

Live and Work

Arrival in the UK before 31st December 2020

EU (and EEA and Swiss) Nationals can live and work in the UK freely until 31st December 2020 and can probably live and work in the UK permanently. If there is a possibility that you will want to stay in the UK long term, apply for the right to stay in the UK permanently - this is called "Settled Status".

How to apply for “Settled Status” 

1. Download the app (EU Exit: ID Document Check) onto an Android phone. If you don’t have an Android phone, you could borrow one. You can apply on a desktop but you have take your documents to be scanned at a government office (see the list of scanner locations here). So it is probably easier just to use an Android phone – there is scanner technology already on the phone.

2. On the app

- enter your details and answer questions

- scan your passport (you can’t use your National Identity Card from your country)

- scan your face and take your photo

- It is free. If you apply before 30th March 2019 you need to pay £65, but this will be refunded later.

The application should take about 15 minutes. You should get confirmation by email within a few hours. You receive "Pre-Settled Status" or "Settled Status" depending how long you have lived in the UK. 

 

Pre-Settled Status”. You get this if you have been living continuously* in the UK for less than 5 years. With Pre-Settled Status you can continue to live and work in the UK. When you reach 5 years in the UK, you then apply for "Settled Status".

Settled Status” You get this if you have been living continously in the UK for more than 5 years. Settled Status means you have the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely (forever). This is also called "Indefinite Leave to Remain". 

*Living continuously means living in the UK for at least 6 months out of every year.

 

How to prove your residence in the UK

The government uses National Insurance (tax) records to check the dates you have been living in the UK. If you haven’t got an NI number yet, get one as soon as possible. It is the easiest way to prove your residence. See How to get an National Insurance Number (NINo).

There are other ways to prove your UK residence, for example a letter from your employer, school or university or phone/electricity bills. You can’t use photos or letters from family/friends. Check the full list of evidence of UK residence.

Arrival in the UK after 1st January 2021

After Brexit, work visa types for EU nationals will probably include:

- Short-term visas for young people

These are also known as “working holiday visas” or the “Youth Mobility Scheme”. This type of visa already exists for citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Republic of Korea and Taiwan. You have to be 18 – 30 years old and have no children. There will probably be similar visa for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals after Brexit.

- Low-skilled work visas for temporary or agricultural work

- Highly-skilled work visas (for example for doctors, nurses, engineers and technology workers)

They may also include:

- European Leave to Remain

These are work visas for EU Nationals for up to 3 years which can be applied for online after you have arrived in the UK

 

If there is no agreement

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement before Brexit Day (29th March 2019), EU nationals who are already living in the country will still be able to apply for “Settled Status”. New EU Nationals arriving in the country are still expected to be able to live and work freely, but for a limited time. You can get permission to stay in the UK called “European Leave to Remain” which gives the right to live, study and work in the UK for up to 3 years. You can come to the UK without a visa then apply for European Leave to Remain online after you arrive in the UK.

Are you living in the UK but going to the EU for a holiday around Brexit Day?

If the UK leaves the EU without an agreement (it's called a “no deal” Brexit in the British media), and you are leaving the UK for a holiday around the end of March or after Brexit but want to return to the UK, it is a good idea to take evidence to show you are already living here (otherwise you will be considered a new arrival and might have less right to stay in the UK more permanently). Take as much evidence as you can, for example, a letter from your employer or English school staying that you are already living, working or studying in the UK or other evidence of UK residence.

 

This information will be kept accurate to the best of our knowledge and ability but is not an official source. For official information go to www.gov.uk. If you notice any inaccuracies, please let us know at info@albaenglish.co.uk and put "Brexit" in the subject line.