EU Settlement Scheme | UK Visas and Immigration 2024

EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme stands as a pivotal mechanism for European Union citizens and their family members residing in the United Kingdom. Launched in the wake of Brexit, this scheme aims to provide stability and assurance to eligible individuals, ensuring their continued rights and privileges within the UK. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the EU Settlement Scheme, including eligibility criteria, application process, rights granted, challenges faced, and its broader impact on UK immigration policy.

Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the EU Settlement Scheme in the UK depend on your circumstances:

  1. EU, EEA or Swiss citizen: You can apply if you’re an EU, EEA (European Economic Area), or Swiss citizen. This includes citizens of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.
  2. Family members: Family members of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens may also be eligible, including spouses or civil partners, children, grandchildren, dependent parents, and dependent grandparents.
  3. Continuous residence: To be eligible, you must have been living in the UK continuously for a specified period. This period varies depending on whether you’re applying under the “settled” or “pre-settled” status category.
  4. Valid identification: You need to provide a valid passport or national identity card to prove your identity.
  5. No serious criminal convictions: Certain criminal convictions may affect your eligibility for settled or pre-settled status.
  6. Proof of residence: You must provide evidence of your residence in the UK, such as utility bills, rental agreements, or employment records.
  7. Children born in the UK: Children born in the UK to EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens may be eligible for settled or pre-settled status if certain conditions are met.

It’s important to review the specific eligibility criteria outlined by the UKSpouseVisa, as requirements may change over time.

Impact on UK Immigration Policy

The EU Settlement Scheme has had a profound impact on UK immigration policy, marking a significant shift in the treatment of EU citizens post-Brexit. By guaranteeing the rights of EU citizens already residing in the UK, the scheme aims to provide certainty and stability amidst the uncertainties of Brexit.

Looking ahead, the success of the EU Settlement Scheme could influence future immigration policies and negotiations between the UK and the EU, shaping the landscape of migration in the years to come.

Rights and Benefits EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme provides various rights and benefits to EU citizens and their family members who wish to continue living in the UK after Brexit. Here are some of the key rights and benefits:

Right to Live and WorkSuccessful applicants to the EU Settlement Scheme are granted the right to continue living and working in the UK. This means they can reside in the UK without any immigration restrictions.
Access to HealthcareEU citizens granted settled or pre-settled status under the scheme will be able to access healthcare services through the National Health Service (NHS) on the same basis as they do now.
Education and StudyThose with settled or pre-settled status can continue studying in the UK and access educational services, including schools, colleges, and universities, on the same basis as British citizens.
Access to Public FundsEU citizens with settled or pre-settled status can access public funds such as benefits and pensions if they are eligible.
Family ReunionFamily members of EU citizens who are eligible for the scheme may also apply to join them in the UK. This includes spouses, partners, children, grandchildren, and dependent parents or grandparents.
TravelWith settled or pre-settled status, individuals can freely travel in and out of the UK without needing a visa for short trips.
Social Security ContributionsEU citizens with settled or pre-settled status can continue to make social security contributions and access benefits in the UK.
Permanent ResidencyAfter living in the UK for a continuous period of five years with settled or pre-settled status, EU citizens can apply for permanent residency.
These are just some of the key rights and benefits provided by the EU Settlement Scheme.

Who can apply EU Settlement Scheme?

You have a different deadline if you’re eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme for one of the following reasons.

How to ApplyYour deadline to Apply
You’re applying for your child who was born or adopted in the UK on or after 1 April 202190 days from when your child was born or adopted
You’re applying as a family member who was living here by 31 December 2020, and has settled or pre-settled status, and you joined them in the UK on or after 1 April 2021, and you entered the UK as a visitor.90 days from when you arrive in the UK
You’re the family member of an eligible person of Northern Ireland, but they could not move back to the UK without you by 31 December 2020 – you must be from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein90 days from when you arrive in the UK
You’re exempt from immigration control, or you stopped being exempt from immigration control after 30 June 2021If you’re exempt from immigration control, you do not have to apply to the scheme. If you choose to do so, you can apply at any time. If you stop being exempt, you have 90 days to apply
You were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and you got limited leave to enter or remain in the UK before 30 June 2021 and that leave expires after 30 June 2021 Before that leave expires
You can still apply if you’re eligible and can show ‘reasonable grounds’ for why you could not apply by the deadline or in the time since the deadline passed.

If you’re the family member or primary carer of a British citizen

For most people, you can no longer apply if you’re:

  • a family member of a ‘qualifying British citizen’ – this is known as a ‘Surinder Singh’ application
  • a primary carer of a British citizen – this is known as a ‘Zambrano’ application


The EU Settlement Scheme plays a crucial role in safeguarding the rights and future of EU citizens and their families in the UK post-Brexit. By providing a pathway to settled status and ensuring access to essential services, the scheme offers reassurance and stability amidst the changing landscape of UK immigration policy.

As the deadline for applications approaches, it’s essential for eligible individuals to take advantage of this opportunity to secure their status and continue contributing to the diverse tapestry of British society.

If you need much more information about EU Settlement Scheme contact Don’t hesitate to contact our specialist UK immigration solicitors at UKSpouseVisa to assist you with your application