On 23 June 2016 the UK held a referendum and voted to leave the European Union. This means that the UK Government is currently negotiating an exit strategy. At this present time EU citizens who are already living here do not need to do anything as their status is governed by EU law as well. The Government is planning to introduce a scheme which will allow EU citizens who are in the UK to apply for settled status before the UK exits the EU. More information about this will be updated on our website as and when the Government announce the exit date and scheme date. For your notice anyone who has been living in the UK for 5 years will normally be able to apply for settlement and subsequently apply for British Citizenship. Anyone who came here before UK exists but hasnât completed 5 years will normally be allowed to finish the 5-year residency here and then apply for settlement and subsequently citizenship. Family dependants will also be able to apply for settlement provided they meet the 5-year settlement status. When the UK leaves the EU then EU citizens will not be expected to leave immediately. In fact, there will be a fixed period of up to 3 years where they can apply for a residence document to confirm their settled status.
The application should not be confused with the current permanent residence status that EU citizens can apply for. When UK exits the EU, citizens of the EU will be applying for âsettlementâ status. Until the UK leaves the EU, citizens of EU countries and their dependant family members can (depending if they qualify) continue to apply to confirm their status (tailored to their circumstances) i.e. derivative residence card, application for registration certificate, permanent residence card after 5 years. There are exceptions to the 5-year rule.