EU citizens in Scotland

No EU citizen currently living in the UK lawfully will have to leave the UK when we leave the EU. Read more below about the rights of European Union citizens in the UK and their families.

Rights for EU citizens and their families

There will be plenty of time for people to apply for and receive their new residence status after the UK leaves the EU.

  • EU citizens looking to remain in the UK will be asked to apply for settled status through a user-friendly scheme.
  • EU citizens who haven’t been in the UK for 5 years when we leave the EU in March 2019 will be able to apply to stay until they have reached the 5 year threshold required for settled status.
  • EU citizens who arrive in the UK by March 2019 and have 5 years of continuous residence in the UK will be eligible for settled status.
  • Rights to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK will remain the same.

There will be no change to the status of EU citizens living in the UK while the UK remains in the EU, or during the implementation period which continues until December 2020.

Visit the EU citizens’ rights website - external link

Settled status

If you’re a European Union (EU) citizen living in the UK, you and your family can apply for ‘settled status’ if you want to continue living in Scotland or anywhere in the UK after June 2021.

You will not need to apply if you’re an Irish citizen, but may choose to do so if you wish. Rights for citizens of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland are currently being negotiated, but we intend that the settlement scheme will be open to them.

The scheme will open fully by March 2019. The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you’re joining a family member in the UK.

Getting settled status means you can continue to live and work in the UK for as long as you like. It will mean you’re eligible for:

  • public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you meet the requirements.

Full details of the scheme are still subject to approval by Parliament.

To find out more about eligibility, and to apply for settled status, visit  You can also sign up for updates from the Home Office.

Apply for settled status - external link
Sign up for updates - external link

More Information

Further information on the UK’s withdrawal from the EU is available from the Department for Exiting the European Union (DExEU)  and the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Visit the Scottish Government’s EU policy pages.

Find out more about Scotland and Brexit.

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