Brexit new rules: What to do if you’re an EU citizen working in the UK? - | Hudson McKenzie

Brexit new rules: What to do if you’re an EU citizen working in the UK?

January 5, 2021 | Immigration, Latest Thinking, News

The UK voted to leave the EU in 2016, since then there have been endless debates and negotiations back and forth. After a turbulent time, the UK and European Union agreed a deal which came into place on 31st December 2020.

From 1st January 2021 new rules came into play for everyone, including EU nationals residing and working in the UK. If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who has been living in the UK before 31st December 2020, you and your family can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to allow you to continue living and working in the UK. The deadline for applying is 30th June 2021.

You do not need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you already have Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE). However, you will still need to apply for EUSS even if you have a “UK permanent residence document.”

When applying for the EU Settlement Scheme you’ll be given either pre-settled status or settled status depending on your situation. In particular, the Home Office will consider how long you have been living in the UK when you apply. In making your application, you should provide documents evidencing your proof of identity and proof of continuous residency. 

Pre-settled Status

You will usually be given pre-settled status if you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, but you must have moved to the UK by 31st December 2020. 

However, please contact a professional at Hudson Mckenzie for more advice on your current personal situation, as there may be exceptions applicable to you. 

Settled Status

In order to be eligible for settled status, you must have lived in the UK for 5 years continuously. You must have been present in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12-month period within those 5 years. For your application, the Home Office asks that you provide documents evidencing this continuous period of residency. You will be able to stay in the UK as long as you want if you are granted settled status and can apply for British citizenship.

With settled and pre-settled status, you will be able to work in the UK, use the NHS for free and receive public funds including benefits and pensions. You will also be able to travel in and out of the UK freely and can spend up to 2 years outside of the UK without losing pre-settled status, and 5 years without losing settled status. However, if you have pre-settled status, you should be aware that you must not be absent from the UK for more than 6 months in any 12 month period (for 5 years) if you wish to apply for settled status in future.

What do I do if I need a professional qualification for my work?

If you want to work in a profession which is regulated in the UK, and you need a professional qualification to do so, it will need to be regulated by the regulator of your chosen profession.

If you are making an application for EU Settled Status, you will need to check the list of regulated professionals to make sure that your qualification meets the requirements.

You do not need to do anything if your qualification was already recognised by your regulator before 1st January 2021, it will still be valid.

The information provided does not amount to legal advice, if you require legal advice on this matter please contact one of our professionals at Hudson McKenzie. 

Should you seek legal advice with your immigration matters, please get in touch with a professional by email at or by telephone +44(0)20 3318 5794.