How Will Brexit Affect Europeans Working in the UK?

How Will Brexit Affect Europeans Working in the UK?

Britain finally 'left' the European Union on January 31st, 2020. Talks have begun again with the EU to reach new agreements, to determine whether we have a soft or hard Brexit when the deadline to seal the deal rolls around on December 31st, 2020.

Since raising its head Brexit has raised a lot of questions about Europeans living and working in the UK, and those who are hoping to in the future, so if you're unsure as to how Brexit will impact your job in the UK, keep reading to find out what you need to do and when!


European Settlement Scheme

If you’re a European and already living in the UK, the European Settlement Scheme is an easy and free way to ensure that you are able to continue to live and work here.

Upon applying to the scheme, you will be granted either a settled or pre-settled status.

  • Settled – you have lived in the UK for five years or more
  • Pre-settled – you have lived in the UK for less than five years (you can apply for settled status once you have lived here for five years!)



So, who can apply for the European Settlement Scheme?

European citizens from the EU, EEA, and Switzerland who are currently living in the UK or moving to the UK before Brexit exit dates at the end of this year

  • This includes the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway
  • Those with a British or Irish passport or indefinite leave to remain do not need to apply
  • People with indefinite leave to remain can apply if they would like to take advantage of an extension (more on this here!)

DEADLINE: Deal: Apply by 30th June 2021 – No Deal: Apply by 31st December 2020


European citizens with a permanent UK resident status

  • EEA or Swiss people with UK permanent residence should apply to the settlement scheme or for a British Citizenship before we leave the EU

DEADLINE: Deal: Apply by 30th June 2021 – No Deal: Apply by 31st December 2020


EU, EEA and Swiss Frontier Workers who want to live in the UK

  • As a Frontier worker, if you don’t live in the UK, you will be able to continue crossing borders without applying for the European Settlement Scheme
  • If you want to live in the UK, you should apply to the scheme as above


Non-EU citizens who are family of EU Frontier Workers

  • If you’re a family member of an EEA, EU or Swiss Frontier Worker living in the UK, you can apply to the scheme even if the Frontier Worker does not live in the UK
  • Read more about rules for Frontier Workers and their families here


Europeans who start work or self-employment in another EU country

  • Those who start work or self-employment in another EU country can apply for settled status if you have been employed in the UK continuously for three years prior and return to your UK home once a week (on average)
  • Family members of this person may be eligible for the scheme if they were family members when you started work in another EU country


Are you a European wanting to move to the UK?

There is a deadline for people of this status to enter the country and apply for the European Settlement Scheme. It is essential that you are already in the UK when you apply for the scheme.


  • Deal: Enter by 31st December 2020, Apply to the European Settlement Scheme by 30th June 2021
  • No Deal: Enter and Apply for the scheme by 31st December 2020




Applying for British Citizenship

Applying for British Citizenship means that you will gain full British citizen rights.

You will need to take a Living in the UK Test as well as an English Language Test, alongside completing the relevant paperwork and an application fee.

Who can apply?

  • Those with settled status (through the European Settlement Scheme)
  • Those with UK permanent resident status
  • Those with indefinite leave to remain or indefinite leave to enter the UK

People applying for British Citizenship should have lived in the UK for at least the last twelve months after gaining any of the above statuses.

If you are married to a British citizen, you can apply for British Citizenship straight away.

If you're unsure, check if you can become a British citizen.



Rainbow Line

Hopefully, you’re now set to tackle Brexit as a European citizen in the UK!

If you’re wondering how Brexit is going to impact your work visa, have a read of our blog on this here.

Looking for more industry-related Brexit updates? Take a look at our other Brexit blogs – How to Brexit-Proof your Games Studio and Brexit – Are Opportunities to Recruit Globally Improving?

Still unsure? Get in touch with the team and we’ll be happy to have a chat with you about how Brexit will impact your life in the UK.


Freya Simmons

Marketing Manager

Freya is our word wizard and seems to have beautiful words stored in her hands just ready to fall out onto a page. Lucky for us she has chosen to share her skill with us to look after our marketing and make everything you see as enjoyable as possible. Her favourite things to do around Brighton are visits to Devils Dyke and Ditchling Beacon to enjoy the wonderful scenery so with this and her love of words we imagine that in another life she would’ve been the heroine in a Jane Austen novel or Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

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