EU citizens living in Scotland after Brexit

Last updated: 9 September 2019

The UK will leave the European Union on 31 January 2020. We'll then enter a 'transition period' that's likely to last until the end of December 2020. During this period the UK will still follow EU rules.

Brexit will have an effect on some areas of life in Scotland.

This may include changes to EU citizens' rights.

Brexit has not happened yet, and many of the details are not yet known. This page gives the latest facts, but it will be updated as more details are confirmed. Please keep checking back for new information.

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 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:

  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland

There are separate arrangements for Irish citizens, who will continue to benefit from the provisions of the Common Travel Area.

This scheme opened fully on 30 March 2019 and is run by the UK Government. The proposed fee for settled status has been removed and applications are free.

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

The UK Government have said that eligible people with settled and pre-settled status will be able to:

  • use the NHS
  • access education
  • access public funds (such as benefits and pensions)
  • travel in and out of the UK

People with settled status will also be able to apply for British citizenship.

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 also produced a package of support to help EU citizens stay in Scotland.

The package of support includes:

  • £250,000 of dedicated resource for community based support across Scotland. Further updates will be made available in due course
  • a 'Stay in Scotland' toolkit to support EU citizens and employers with EU staff which includes a poster, a factsheet, digital content and guides
  • EU Citizens Support - a free, specialist support service provided by Citizens Advice Scotland for anyone affected by the UK Government's EU Settlement Scheme

As part of the this support service, you can contact a specialist full-time national helpline on 0800 916 9847. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

The Scottish Government is committed to protecting EU citizens. It is looking at more ways to support EU citizens around Brexit so please continue to check back on this page for updates.

'No deal'

The UK Government has published a policy paper setting out how the rights of EU citizens would be protected if 'no deal' is reached with the EU. This only applies to EU citizens who are living in the UK by the time the Brexit transition period ends in December 2020.

If we do not agree an EU trade deal during the Brexit transition period, we will be in a 'no deal' situation. In this case, EU citizens living in the UK will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by December 2020 (instead of the June 2021 deadline there would be if there was a deal).

You will also have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you're a citizen of:

  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Liechtenstein
  • Switzerland

EU citizens moving to Scotland after Brexit

EU citizens will be able to come to the UK under the current terms until December 2020.

If you wish to stay after December 2020 you will have to apply for Settled Status under the UK Government's EU Settlement Scheme.

The UK Government has published a policy paper setting out arrangements for EU citizens coming to the UK after Brexit if no deal is reached. Under the proposals, EU citizens who move to the UK for the first time after Brexit will be able to enter the UK as they do now. Their current rights to live, work and study in the UK will continue until 31 December 2020.

EU citizens arriving after Brexit who want to remain beyond 31 December 2020 will have to apply for 'Euro Temporary Leave to Remain' (Euro TLR). EU citizens granted Euro TLR will be able to stay in the UK for 36 months. To stay for longer than this they will need to apply for further leave to remain under the new immigration system.

More information

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:

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.