Citizens' rights agreement

In December the UK government 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.

You can read further details of the agreement on the page Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know.

In order to secure your rights, you will need to go through a simple application process which will confirm your status in the UK for as long as you want to stay. We are going to begin that process later this year so we can get everyone through in good time but there is no rush – applications will be open for at least 2 years after the UK leaves the EU.

Please sign up for email updates from the Home Office to be kept aware of developments that might affect you, including the steps that you will need to take to confirm your status in the UK after we leave the EU.

Applying for settled status

EU citizens and their family members in the UK will need to apply through a simple digital system to get settled status.

We’re making the application process as quick and user-friendly as possible. We’ll use existing government data to reduce the amount of evidence you will need to provide. For example, in most cases National Insurance records will show us whether you’ve been working here. We won’t be checking the amount of tax you have paid.

The application process will check 3 basic principles – identity, UK residence and criminal convictions. As an EU citizen you will need to:

  • prove your identity and nationality with your EU passport or National ID card and provide a recent photograph of yourself
  • declare any criminal convictions – only serious or persistent criminality will affect eligibility for the scheme

You won’t have to:

  • account for every trip you’ve taken out of the UK
  • show evidence that you held comprehensive sickness insurance (see note 1 below)
  • give your fingerprints

The application fee will be no more than the cost charged to British citizens for a UK passport. If you already have a valid permanent residence document, it will be free.

The online application form will go live in late 2018.

So people have enough time to apply, the scheme will remain open for applications for at least 2 years after the UK leaves the EU. Sign up for email updates for more details.

Note 1: In some circumstances, comprehensive sickness insurance will still be required for the purposes of accessing the healthcare system in the UK, but will not be considered a requirement for acquiring settled status.


Example case studies: EU citizens living in the UK after we leave the EU