5 July 2018


In the lead up to today's Chequers summit, government clarifies the process for EU nationals already in the UK

The government announces its proposals on the ‘settled status’ immigration rules applicable for EU nationals in the UK who wish to stay after Brexit

In the lead up to today's Chequers summit, government clarifies the process for EU nationals already in the UK

Following the June European Council summit, businesses will be following the Cabinet’s Chequers summit very closely looking for clarity and detail from the government on the key Brexit issues. 

One issue where the government has already provided this is the scheme for EU nationals already in the UK who wish to stay after Brexit. As agreed in the draft Withdrawal Agreement, EU nationals in the UK by 31 December 2020 and who have lived here for five years will be eligible to apply for ‘settled status’. Meanwhile those in the UK with less time will be eligible to apply for ‘pre-settled status’, allowing them to stay in the UK a further five years. All EU nationals residing in the UK by 31 December 2020 will continue to be able to live, work and study on the same basis as they can now.

New details announced include confirmation the process to apply for settled status will be phased in from later this year and be fully open by 31 March 2019. To apply for settled status, EU nationals will have to prove their identity, length of residence in the UK and undergo a criminality check for major convictions. A dated and signed letter from an employer confirming the duration of employment of an EU national will be valid evidence to support an individual’s application. The cost for adults will be £65 and children £32.50. The final deadline for EU nationals to have applied will be June 2021 - six months after the end of the implementation period.

When assessing applications, the Home Office’s default position will be to look for reasons to grant, rather than deny, settled status. Home Office caseworkers will have greater flexibility to exercise discretion when considering EU national’s individual circumstances. This is a distinctive shift away from the current culture and procedural rules within the Home Office.

Read further details of settlement scheme for EU citizens

To provide members insight, the CBI is hosting an event for members where Home Office officials will present details of how the settled status system will work. Members will also have the opportunity to ask questions to officials. A date for this event is 17 July from 14:30 until 16:30 in London. Register for this event  

Following on from this event, the CBI will also be producing a guide over later this year for HR teams on how best to assist EU staff through this process. As well as explaining technical details of the system, it will offer guidance on employee relations of handling this process.

For more information, insight and intelligence on the latest Brexit developments and its implications, visit the CBI’s Brexit hub, or contact EUNegotiations@cbi.org.uk.