Since January 1st 2021, the free movement of people between the UK and EU ended. That means there are new rules for EU citizens wanting to settle in the UK. We’ve done some research to find out how the new processes work and who can stay in the UK after Brexit.

Can I stay in the UK after Brexit?

While the UK officially left the EU in January 2020, Brexit negotiations are still ongoing, so please bear in mind that the advice offered on this page is subject to change and should by no means be taken as definitive.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the current guidelines for EU citizens who wish to remain in the UK after Brexit.

What we know

  • The UK ceased to be a European Union member state on 31 January 2020
  • You may be able to stay in the UK without applying if you’re an Irish citizen, or already have indefinite leave to remain.
  • If you are not currently living in the UK but would like to move here on a temporary or permanent basis, you will need to follow the new immigration procedures and acquire UK immigration status.
  • If you are coming from Ukraine and have a family member living in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Ukraine Family Scheme visa which allows you to work in the UK.
  • If you’re coming from elsewhere in the EU and want to work, you may now have to apply for a work visa. Not sure if you need a work visa? You can check if you need a UK visa online.
  • The most common work visa in the UK is the Skilled Worker visa – other popular visa options include:
  • Each of these visas costs a different amount of money and involves you meeting certain requirements. It’s possible that you’ll be asked to pay an Immigration Health Surcharge if you’ll be settling in the UK for a long time. This covers NHS contributions for people that won’t be contributing via National Insurance.
All of this can be very confusing – if you’d like to talk with one of our recruitment professionals to discuss visas and employment opportunities in the UK, reach out and contact us today.

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Documents you can apply for

EU citizens can apply for two different types of document - these are as follows:

Registration Certificate

If you have been living in the UK for less than 5 years, you may apply for a temporary residence permit. This will allow you to stay in the UK after Brexit (though not indefinitely). Apply Now >

Permanent Residence (PR) Document

If you have lived in the UK legally for at least 5 continuous years, you may apply for a PR document. This will grant you ‘settled status’, giving you indefinite leave to remain in the UK even after Brexit. Apply Now >

EU Settlement Scheme

The deadline for applying for the EU Settlement Scheme was 30th June 2021 (This deadline doesn’t apply if you already have pre-settled status and you’re applying for settled status). If you or your family are from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, you can still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme if you or a family member were living in the UK by 31 Dec 2020. You must also either:
  • meet one of the criteria for a later deadline to apply
  • have ‘reasonable grounds’ for why you’re applying now, and not by the deadline or in the time since the deadline passed.
If you’ve lived in the UK for 5 years or more and have pre-settled status, you should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for settled status. If you are granted settled status, you will be able to:
  • Live and work in the UK indefinitely
  • Live outside the UK for up to 5 years without losing settled status
  • Invite your family to live with you in the UK
  • Apply for your British citizenship (after you’ve had settled status for 1 year, or immediately if you’re married to a British citizen).

If you’re currently looking to hire new talent from within the science and technology sectors, be sure to take a look at the recruitment services we offer here at Hyper Recruitment Solutions!

Please note that HRS are not immigration specialists, and we cannot advise you on your specific situation. This page is for informational purposes only, and its content comes from consulting with immigration experts on a generic, non-advisory basis.