United Kingdom – Status Changes for EU Citizens Residing in the UK & Their Families


Effective March 2019, citizens of the European Union (EU) and their families will be able to apply for settled or pre-settled status in order to continue residing in the United Kingdom (UK) after December 2020.

To be eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status, individuals outside the EU must be in a relationship with an EU citizen as a spouse, civil partner, or unmarried partner with a residence card.

EU citizens required to apply for settled status include:

  • EU citizens
  • Family members of EU citizens
  • Individuals who have been residing in the UK continuously for five (5) years
  • Individuals who began residing in the UK before 31st December 2020
  • Individuals who are non-EU citizens and married to British citizens

Irish citizens or individuals who have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK do not need to apply.

Individuals who have resided in the UK for less than five (5) years will generally be eligible for “pre-settled” status. Individuals who have indefinite leave to reside in the UK can either continue to reside in the UK without applying for settled status, or they can choose to change their status. After the 31st December 2020 deadline, eligible individuals residing overseas will still be able to join family members who are EU citizens living in the UK, under certain conditions. The EU citizen must be a close family member, i.e. a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, dependent child or grandchild, or dependent parent or grandparent. The qualifying relationship must have commenced prior to December 31, 2020 and be expected to continue after the individuals come to the UK

Core eligibility requirements include the ability to provide proof of identity, residence within the UK, and absence of any prior criminal convictions.

What actions should businesses take?

Businesses should review their EU employee population list that will be impacted and communicate with employees regarding any necessary action to be taken. Emigra Worldwide is able to host drop-in sessions for your workforce and provide population analyses and advice as required.

What you need to do

Contact your Emigra Worldwide representative for further details on how these updates may impact you or your client.