EU citizens in Scotland

The UK Government has reached an agreement with the European Union on citizens’ rights.  This agreement will protect your rights after the UK leaves the EU and enable you to continue to live your life as you do now.  It also covers your family members.

Rights for EU citizens and their families

Settled status and pre-settled status

In order to secure your rights, you will need to apply for settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme.  The scheme will open fully by 30 March 2019.

Your rights will not change until 2021 so there is no need for you to apply for status as soon as the scheme opens.

If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family will be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.  If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status.

The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

You may be able to stay in the UK without applying – for example, if you’re an Irish citizen or have indefinite leave to remain.

We’re making the application process as quick and user-friendly as possible. It will check 3 basic principles – identity, UK residence and criminality.

If you’ve paid tax through work or received benefits, we’ll use your National Insurance number to help us confirm when you’ve been resident in the UK.

Getting status under the scheme means you can continue to live and work in the UK as you can now.  It will mean you will continue to be eligible for:

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

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal

If the UK leaves the EU without a deal you will need to be living in the UK by 29 March 2019 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.  The deadline for applying will be 31 December 2020.

A guide to the EU Settlement Scheme for EU citizens and their families - external link

You can also sign up for email updates about the scheme from the Home Office.

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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