Phone : 01322 389 111


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Guideline to working in the UK after Brexit

Brexit: What to do if you want to stay in the UK

This guidance has been created to give you information on what you need to do if you want to stay in the UK after it has left the EU. We appreciate that you may not have long terms plans to stay in the UK, however, if you do, this guidance will help you understand your position and hopefully answer any questions you have. You should always check with the Home Office if you have specific questions about your immigration situation.

Please note that this guidance has been put together based on current Government guidance which may change before finalised plans are put in place.  We will keep you updated of any changes.

The UK is leaving the EU and this will affect your right to work here

The UK is going to leave the EU (otherwise known as “Brexit”) on 29th March 2019. This means that, if you wish to carry on working in the UK, you will need to apply for, and get, clearance from the Government. If you don’t do this, you will not be able to work for us after 30th June 2021.

Affected workers

All EU nationals living in the UK are affected, unless you are from Ireland.  The “EU Settlement Scheme” that the Government is putting in place is also expected to apply to those from Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, however, this is yet to be confirmed.

You are also affected if you are a non-EU national and are a family member of a EU national but have not obtained permanent residence.

If you are from Ireland, you will be able to stay in the UK without the need to get any clearance. However, the guidance says you can apply for it if you want to.

What you need to do if you want to stay in the UK after Brexit

You need to make an application through the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme by 30th June 2021.

You need to get either “settled status” or “pre-settled status”. Which one you get depends on how long you will have been in the UK by 31st December 2020.

Settled status will be given to those who have been in the UK for five or more years by 31st December 2020.

Pre-settled status will be given to those who have been in the UK for fewer than five years by 31st December 2020.

“Settled status”

Settled status means you will have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. You will be able to stay as long as you like.

“Pre-settled status”

Pre-settled status means you will have permission to stay in the UK until you have built up five years of residency. At that point you will be able to apply for settled status and if this is granted, you will be able to stay in the UK as long as you like.

How you should make an application

You should apply online using a computer or a smart phone app. If you don’t have either of those, you will be able to use a computer in a local library. You will be able to get help to fill in your application if you need it. Once your application is made, it will take about two weeks for you to receive the outcome. You will receive digital confirmation of your status; you won’t get a physical piece of paper.

What you will need to provide in your application

You will need to provide: 

  • Proof of your identity (passport or national identity card)
  • Proof of residence in the UK, for example, P60s, bank statements, utility bills unless you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain;
  • Information on any criminal convictions. Serious convictions may mean that your application is refused.

You will also need to upload a digital photograph of yourself.

Cost of application

It's free to apply to the scheme.

If you paid a fee when you applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you'll get a refund.

When the scheme will open

The application scheme will initially be phased in from Autumn 2018 and is expected to be fully open by 30th March 2019. The deadline for making an application is 30th June 2021 so you will have over two years to obtain the appropriate status.

If applications are refused

There will be an appeal process to follow if your application is refused. If the decision is not changed after your appeal, however, meaning your application is still refused, we will no longer be able to employ you because we will be breaking the law.

Family members

All of your close family members who currently live in the UK or are overseas are also eligible to apply for the scheme. This includes:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried or civil partners
  • Children
  • Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Grandparents

You can make the application for your child if they are under 16.

Those who already have indefinite leave to remain

If you already have indefinite leave to remain, you will not have to apply for settled or pre-settled status. However, you may still wish to do so because settled status offers better rights. As set out above, you will be able to swap over to settled status for no cost.

The requirement to show us that you have obtained permission to stay in the UK

We must check that all of our employees have the right to work in the UK and so we will need to conduct checks to see that you have obtained either settled or pre-settled status. We are aware of the timescales involved in the EU Settlement Scheme and we will contact you at the appropriate time and ask you to provide evidence of your right to work here under the new rules. Unfortunately, if, at that time, you are not able to show us that you have the appropriate status, or have made an application, we will no longer be able to employ you and your employment will be terminated. We sincerely hope that this does not happen and so, if it is your intention to stay in the UK, we encourage you to make an application within the relevant timescales.

Important dates


29th March 2019: UK will leave the EU

30th March 2019: Online system to apply for settled or pre-settled status will be fully open

31st December 2020: The amount of time you have been living in the UK at this date will determine whether you will apply for settled status or pre-settled status

30th June 2021: Applications for settled or pre-settled status must have been submitted by this date

Please note this information is for guidance only and is subject to change. Terms may change during the Brexit transition. You should always seek independent advice.

Telephone: 01322 389 111

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