The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. This process is often known as 'Brexit'.
We're now in a transition period (also known as the implementation period) that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. This means the UK is currently still following EU rules.
In January 2021 the transition period will end and our new relationship with the EU will begin. There will be effects on some areas of life in Scotland.
This may include changes to EU citizens' rights.
EU citizens currently living in the UK will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 if they want to keep living in the UK after this date.
To be eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, EU citizens will need to show they are resident in the UK by December 2020.
You will also have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you're a citizen of:
There are separate arrangements for Irish citizens, who will continue to benefit from the provisions of the Common Travel Area.
Visit the GOV.UK website for more information on the EU Settlement Scheme, including:
- how to apply
- who should apply
- when to apply
- what status you will receive
- your rights
- EU citizens with permanent residence or indefinite leave to remain
- EU citizens under 21
People with settled status may also be eligible able to apply for British citizenship, if they meet the criteria.
Package of support
The First Minister has written an open letter to all EU citizens in Scotland, telling them how much we value their contribution, urging them to stay and providing information on the support available to EU citizens in Scotland.
The Scottish Government has produced a package of support to help EU citizens stay in Scotland. This package of support includes:
- a guide for EU citizens
- a guide for employers of EU citizens
- a factsheet
The government has also committed more than £1 million to supporting EU citizens in Scotland through:
- factsheets published by JustRight Scotland
- Citizens Advice Scotland's Advice and Support Service
- Citizens' Rights Project briefing and outreach events
As part of the package, the Scottish Government has worked with JustRight Scotland to publish a number of factsheets explaining the rights of EU citizens in Scotland with settled and pre-settled status. The factsheets provide information on EU citizens' rights to vote, work and access healthcare, education, housing and benefits.
Citizens Advice Scotland
Citizens Advice Scotland operate a free national helpline as part of the Advice and Support Service. You can receive information, advice and support by calling the helpline on 0800 916 9847. Android devices for completing the ID document check can also be accessed through your local Citizens Advice Bureau.
More information about Brexit available from Citizens Advice Scotland.
Citizens' Rights Projects
The Citizens' Rights Project organise online and face-to-face information sessions about the EU Settlement Scheme and EU citizens' rights after Brexit. These sessions are available in multiple languages and for citizens, employers, local authorities, and third sector organisations).
You can find information about their events at the Citizens' Rights Project website. They have a team of trained, multilingual advisers that can support people with their EU Settlement Scheme applications.
You can get in touch with them via text message, WhatsApp, or by phoning them on 07518926137. You can also email the Citizens Rights' Project at email@example.com.
More details for EU citizens living in Scotland will be added to this page as new information on Brexit is available.
Meanwhile, there are a number of other sites you can check for updates:
- GOV.UK - 'Continue to live in the UK after it leaves the EU' - a tool that asks for your personal situation and tells you what you need to apply for
- GOV.UK - settled status: step-by-step
- EU Settlement Scheme: employer toolkit - to help employers give EU citizens advice on how to apply for settled status
- EU Settlement Scheme: community leaders toolkit - to help community groups give EU citizens advice on how to apply for settled status
- Citizen's Advice Scotland - Staying in the UK after Brexit
- Law Society of Scotland – if you need to find a private solicitor who specialises in immigration
- Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner – find an immigration adviser near you
The content on this site is correct as of today's date and is based on the information available at this time. Regular updates will be made as developments around the Brexit process develop. In the event of a 'no deal' scenario, additional advice and information will be communicated through this channel. Please continue to check back for updates.