No EU citizen currently living here lawfully will have to leave as a result of us leaving the EU. There will be a period of permission to remain in the UK covering them and their families. This is called a ‘grace period’. The grace period will give people time to apply for and receive your new residence document.
We want to ensure EU citizens who arrived in the UK before the cut off date (to be agreed during negotiations) continue to be able to live here as they do now and also enjoy other important rights such as access to healthcare, education, social security and pensions.
EU citizens who arrived before the cut off date and have lived in the UK for 5 years on the date we leave will be able to stay indefinitely through ‘settled status’, subject to an assessment of their conduct and criminality. People who won’t have been here for 5 years when we leave, but arrived here before the cut-off date, will be allowed to apply for permission stay on until they reach the 5 year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.
Family dependants who are living with or join EU citizens before the UK’s exit will also be able to apply for settled status after 5 years in the UK. In these cases the cut-off date won’t apply.
EU citizens looking to remain in the UK will be asked to apply for documentation under a new streamlined, user-friendly application scheme, due to launch in 2018.
There is no need for EU citizens living in the UK to do anything at this stage, but you can sign up for email updates to receive an alert when there is further news on the application scheme.