Five days to go until the
EU Settlement Scheme
fully opens

The Home Office has launched a nationwide marketing campaign today to encourage EU citizens to apply early for the EU Settlement Scheme.

The scheme will be fully open on Saturday, 30 March, irrespective of any ongoing Brexit negotiations. (You may be eligible to apply before Saturday if you meet certain conditions – please read more.)

After 30 March, EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK will need to register for either settled status or pre-settled status. Every day this week, Smith Stone Walters will provide explanation on which each status means and how to apply.

This article concentrates on settled status, and we will examine pre-settled status tomorrow.

Settled status

You’ll usually get settled status if you have:

  • started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by Friday 29 March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal) and
  • lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)

Five years’ continuous residence means that for five years in a row you have resided in the UK for at least six months in any 12-month period. The exceptions are:

  • one period of up to 12 months for an important reason (for example, childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting)
  • compulsory military service of any length.

Benefits of settled status

You can stay in the UK as long as you like if you get settled status. You’ll also be able to apply for British citizenship if you’re eligible.

You’ll be able to continue to

  • work in the UK
  • study or enrol in education
  • access public services like the NHS or public funds such as benefits and pensions
  • travel in and out of the UK.

These rights will stay the same until 30 June 2021.

If you need assistance with your Settlement Scheme application, please contact Smith Stone Walters.

We have the expertise to support you and your employees. Take a look at the positive feedback from those clients who have already engaged our services.


For further information, please also read our article on pre-settled status

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