EU citizens living in Scotland after EU exit

Last updated: 25 April 2019

The UK may be leaving the European Union.

EU exit (also known as Brexit) may have an effect on the way you live in Scotland.

This may include changes to EU citizens' rights.

EU exit has not happened, and many of the details are not yet known or are regularly changing. This page gives the most up-to-date information, but it will be added to and changed over time, so please keep checking back for updates.

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

Package of support

The Scottish Government has 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 EU Citizens Support service, you can also contact a specialist helpline for free, confidential advice on 0800 916 9847. Lines are open:

  • Monday and Friday mornings from 9am to 1pm
  • Wednesday afternoons from 1pm to 5pm

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

'No deal'

The UK Government 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 EU exit happens.

If there's a 'no deal' situation, 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).

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

EU citizens moving to Scotland after EU exit

If there is a withdrawal agreement (a 'deal' situation), EU citizens will still 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.

If there is a 'no deal' situation, only EU citizens living in the UK before EU exit will have their rights protected. Anyone arriving after EU exit will be subject to different rules and will have to apply for 'temporary leave to remain' if they plan on staying in the UK for longer than 3 months.

The UK Government has guidance on EU citizens staying in the UK for longer than 3 months if there's no EU exit deal.

More information

More details for EU citizens living in Scotland will be added to this page as new information on EU exit 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 EU Exit 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.