The EU Settlement Scheme is now partially open and is expected to open fully to all EU nationals who are resident in the UK, on 29 March 2019. 

Under this scheme, those who meet the requirements of 5 years’ continuous residence can apply for ‘Settled Status’ in the period up to the deadline (note the potential for the current deadline to change, set out below).

Those who have less than 5 years’ continuous residence can apply for ‘Pre-Settled Status’. 

Key issues for employers

  1. With the ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s exit from the EU, and continuing negotiations, it can be difficult to stay on top of the key dates.  Employers of EU nationals should be aware of the steps these staff can take to protect their status in the UK and the potential for deadlines to shift within the forthcoming months.
  2. Employers should also be aware of the future need for EU nationals to demonstrate their status and right to work in the UK, as part of their right to work checks.
  3. As part of the application process, an initial check of continuous residence is performed using the applicant’s National Insurance Number. If this check is unsuccessful, however, HR teams may be asked to assist applicants with any further documentary evidence they need to supply.



January – March 2019

Parliament is continuing to decide on amendments to the deal and the process itself. The outcome, at this stage, is far from clear and could have ramifications for all the following events.

The process during February and March 2019 (and further forward) is as yet unknown, but is likely to involve further negotiations with Europe and further Parliamentary votes.  


29 March 2019

At the moment, this is the determined Brexit day.  This date could change if there is any extension to the process.


30 March 2019

The EU Settlement Scheme is expected to open fully on this date.  The scheme is already open for those who qualify for early application.

31 December 2020

End of transition period.


20 June 2021

This is the current deadline for applications under the EU Settlement Scheme.

(Note that if the UK leaves Brexit without a deal, the Government has announced that 31 December 2020 will become the revised deadline for applications under the EU Settlement Scheme).