What changes for European Union citizens in the UK after 11pm on 31 December 2020?

At 11pm on 31 December 2020, the UK will leave the European Union. What does this mean for EEA Citizens (meaning European Union citizens in the UK plus those from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) and their families?

Those already living in the UK: No change until 30 June 2021

31 December 2020 will not bring change for EEA citizens and their family members already living in the UK. For some time, EEA citizens have been able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to obtain ‘Pre-Settled’ or ‘Settled Status’, otherwise known as ‘limited leave to remain’ and ‘indefinite leave to remain’. This gives them legal immigration status in the UK now and in the future. EEA Citizens must apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status to live here legally but they have until 30 June 2021 to do so.

Failure to apply to the Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 will result in the EEA citizen becoming unlawfully resident in the UK.

There are some exceptions for those who have a good reason not to apply before 30 June next year – but our advice is to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme as soon as possible.

Family members coming to join EEA Citizens in the UK

Up until 31 December 2020, EEA family members can simply travel to the UK and apply to the EU Settlement Scheme in their own right.

That changes after 31 December.

From 1 January 2021, EEA citizen family members who do not live in the UK or who have been away from the UK for extended periods (over 6 months), must be ‘sponsored’ by their close EEA family member in the UK. This can be done through the EU Settlement Scheme (an application for a EUSS Family Permit) as long as the family relationship existed before 31 December 2020. Or if they are the child of the EEA citizen in the UK born or adopted in the future.

Family members are spouses, children, grandchildren and dependent parents. The same applies to non-EEA family members of EEA citizens already in the UK. It is easier to do this if the sponsoring EEA citizen already in the UK has obtained Pre-Settled or Settled Status. After 30 June 2021 this will be essential.

So these applications will be made outside the UK. EEA citizens have an advantage over non-EEA citizens because they will be able to use the Settlement Scheme app to apply from overseas. Non-EEA family members will have to apply for an EUSS Family Permit to enter the UK and then apply for Pre-Settled Status once they have arrived.

Dependent Parents and Grandparents

Until 30 June 2021, an EEA citizen in the UK can bring their ‘dependent’ parents or grandparents to join them in the UK. At present, dependency is ‘assumed’ which means that, in theory, there is no need to produce any evidence that the parents and grandparents are in fact dependent on the EEA citizen in the UK. From 1 July 2021, parents and grandparents must provide evidence of their dependency on their sponsor. Dependent means that the parents cannot meet their essential living needs without the financial support of the sponsor.

EEA Citizens coming to the UK for the first time with no family members already here

EEA citizens, who are not already resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and who are entering the UK for longer than a short trip will have to apply under the same rules as non-EEA citizens from 1 January 2021.

Other changes

The Home Office can refuse applications from EEA citizens if the character of the person is in doubt – for example, if they have used false documents to make an application, if they have entered a ‘sham’ marriage or if the government decides it is ‘not conducive’ to the public good that the person is allowed to stay in the UK.

All these changes are not easy to navigate and unfortunately, some EEA citizens and their families will face increasing complexity in relation to their immigration status.

To find out more about the legal status of European Union citizens in the UK following Brexit, contact us.

  • We couldn't praise Sallie and her team high enough. Extremely professional and acted very fast to meet our deadline. 100% recommended!
    Mr E
  • Always thorough and highly professional throughout the application process for both my children, and I would definitely recommend! They also had a welcome sense of humour when it came to dealing with the bureaucracy involved in the process.
    Mr B
  • Great experience working with Sallie. Professional and understanding! Will work with her again, with no doubt.
    Ms L
  • We have been very impressed with the service we have received over the years of dealing with Angela. She went above and beyond to solve our specialised problem with very pleasing results. We would strongly recommend her work and knowledge in the field. A true professional.
    Mr Aldalis
  • I highly recommend Sallie for her professionalism and lovable, kind approach. I am very happy to get her as my immigration lawyer for processing my kids Visa.
    Shiva K
  • I highly recommend both Angela and Karen. They both have been amazingly helpful throughout the visa application process of my wife. They do truly care for their clients. They look at the case in reasonable time periods and return with any missing information rapidly. Consulting them during this exciting yet stressful process was the best decision that I made. Today my wife got granted the visa just after 5 weeks of her biometric scans.
    Mr Yazici
  • They are so honest and professional . Clear answers and guidance to all my questions 👍👍. Thanks a lot .
    Mr Khalil
  • Just received a decision from the Home office that I would’ve NEVER thought was possible. So happy and over the moon! I would definitely recommend your services to friends & family if required in the future. Huge thanks to Sallie and the team, best immigration solicitor in the business!!
    Mr Bamba
  • Angela Cole is a wonderful, hardworking, honest, kind and reliable Solicitor. Her work is very high standard, very professional and her team is friendly. Me and my husband have no hesitation in recommending Angela Cole's excellent services.
    Ms Small
  • "Simply a team of experienced people who gave us excellent and honest advice. Having now taken an appeal through to a successful conclusion for the (very reasonable) price promised, I have no hesitation in recommending this firm."
    Jon Chrimes - Google Review
  • "The team went an extra mile and fought my case much more and much better than I would have expected. In the end, my case was successful and I cannot thank them enough for all they have done. If I ever need legal help in the future I will definitely use their services again and recommend them for their reasonable prices, supportive advice and first rate legal services."
    ANONYMOUS - Google Review
  • "Excellent people, excellent service. They made the process of bringing my husband to the UK painless. Couldn’t have done it without them, highly recommend!"
    Lindy Pine - Google Review
  • "I am ecstatic, thanks to you all. My life is complete now and anything else is a bonus. Even if it seemed impossible I knew we were going to win this and that is why I never gave up. Thank you for your work, support and encouragement."
    MRS. Last
  • A BIG THANK YOU , for your help in helping me acquire my British settlement and British citizenship application successfully done. Your professionalism and kind warm attitude and nature made this process very easy and stress free. You took all my concerns away. 

    My Lawyer, Sallie Davies, is very knowledgeable and competent and I have implicit trust in her. The fees are also reasonable compared to other law firms. I highly recommend Sallie and her team.
    MRS. H
  • Thanks to Sallie, my wife is finally in the UK after a horrible year and long delays with Home Office. Highly recommended Immigration Legal Services! 
    MR. B
  • Angela Cole and everyone at Immigration Legal Services will work to produce the best outcome for you and, from our experience, they only concern themselves with your goal and not your wallet. Immigration Legal Services' charge was a very good price for all the help and security they provided
    MR. C
  • Despite the high professionalism practiced within the firm, there is always a strong sense of compassion , and care, from both Angela, and lovely Karen, which has really helped to set our minds at ease. Absolutely recommended & Eternally grateful
    Ms. f
  • I would like to thank both of you, Sallie and Karen for your assistance in the way you handled my wife's Spouse Visa Extension to remain here with me in the United Kingdom. We will recommend The Immigration Legal Services here in Ipswich to anybody who wants to apply for a visa to come or remain here in the United Kingdom because the service they provided proved to be most reliable, simple and quick process. Much appreciated Sallie and Karen. Thanking you once again. We will be back again.
  • Excellent service, Sallie is very professional and lovely. Thanks to you what we thought it will be a long and exhausting experience, was so smooth and fast we couldn't believe it. Thank you very much.
    Mrs T
  • We engaged this firm based on a recommendation made by a friend who had used their services before. We required their assistance for my wife's first renewal of her spousal visa. The process was quite painless, they got in touch to collect documents and go over details but most communication was done by email. We received the renewal without any issues.
  • Sallie was the best solicitor I've met for immigration matters. She was straight to the job, focused on the matter and had an excellent transparent work process, a reasonable fee and no hidden charges. She is very helpful, confident and had the best communication. We got our parents' visa in one go! Thank you very much for the excellent job.
Let us help you
Take a look at our services and get in touch with us today for more information.
Contact us today
© 2020 Immigration Legal Services. All rights reserved.

A Mackman Group collaboration - market research by Mackman Research | website design by Mackman

linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram