EU Settlement Scheme Frequently Asked Questions

eu-settlement-scheme-faq
We've compiled some general questions and answers about the EU Settlement Scheme in Northern Ireland. You can contact one of our EUSS advisers on 0800 138 6545 if you need further information.

Do I need to prove that I have been working since coming to the UK?
Does it take long for a decision to be made?
I already have ‘permanent residence’, do I need to apply?
I have an Irish passport, can I apply?
 

Do I need to prove that I have been working since coming to the UK?

No. An award of pre-settled or settled status is made solely on the basis of a person’s residence in the UK. There is also a criminality check to confirm the applicant’s suitability. It doesn’t matter whether you are or have been working, self-employed, studying, claiming benefits or dependant on someone else, if you are living in the UK and you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their family member you are eligible to apply to the scheme.
 

Does it take long for a decision to be made?

The majority of decisions are made in a matter of days. In some cases you may be asked for further evidence, which will obviously slow down the decision-making process, so it is important to monitor your email for communications from the Home Office. In a small number of cases it may not be possible to make an online application and an offline application will be required; these decisions will usually take a number of weeks.
 

I already have ‘permanent residence’, do I need to apply?

To continue living in the UK, EU citizens and their family members who have already obtained permanent residence must either apply for settled status under the EU settlement scheme or, alternatively, apply to naturalise as a British citizen. This is because permanent residency documents will become invalid after the application deadline for settled status under the scheme.

However, the application is easier if you already have valid proof of permanent residence as you will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence.
 

I have an Irish passport, can I apply?

Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU (it is protected by the Common Travel Area (CTA), which is an administrative arrangement implemented in UK domestic law). This means that Irish citizens do not need to apply for status under the scheme. Nonetheless, Irish citizens can make an application under the scheme, should they wish to do so and their family members who are not Irish or British citizens and who do not already have leave to enter or remain in the UK will need to make an application for status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Irish citizens born in Northern Ireland, however, are not eligible to apply as they also automatically hold British citizenship, whether or not they have applied for a British passport.