Understanding EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit

EU Citizens Rights Post-Brexit: This comprehensive guide navigates the changes affecting EU citizens in the UK following Brexit. It’s crucial for EU nationals living in the UK and UK employers with EU staff to understand the new landscape, including immigration policy shifts and altered rights. We explore the EU Settlement Scheme, the impact of settled and pre-settled statuses, changes in voting rights, and updated regulations for UK citizens in the EU. Additionally, we provide insights into available support resources for a smooth transition during this significant change.

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EU Citizens Rights Post-Brexit

1. Understanding EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit

The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens and Employers

The UK’s departure from the European Union has significantly impacted EU citizens living in the UK and UK employers relying on EU workers. This comprehensive overview aims to clarify the rights of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit and outline necessary steps for securing their status. For EU citizens seeking to continue their lives and work in the UK, and for UK employers, understanding these changes is vital for compliance and maintaining valuable EU workforce contributions.

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

Eligibility Criteria:

CitizenshipEU, EEA, or Swiss nationals
ResidenceMust have been living in the UK before 31 December 2020
SecurityShould not pose a serious threat to public security
Eligibility Criteria

Types of Status:

  • Pre-settled Status: For those in the UK for less than five years.
  • Settled Status: For those in the UK for five years or more.

Late Applications:

Accepted under certain circumstances post-30 June 2021 deadline.

Rights of EU Citizens with Settled or Pre-Settled Status

Key Rights and Benefits:

WorkBoth statuses allow unrestricted rights to work in the UK.
Healthcare & Social BenefitsEligibility for NHS services and various social benefits, subject to criteria.
Education & Student LoansRights to study and potential eligibility for student loans and financial support.
Family ReunificationRights to bring close family members to the UK. Family members can apply for EUSS family permits and potentially for settled or pre-settled status.
EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit

Conclusion: EU Citizens Rights in the UK

Post-Brexit, the landscape for EU citizens in the UK has undergone significant changes. By engaging with the EU Settlement Scheme and understanding their rights under settled or pre-settled status, EU citizens can effectively navigate these changes. For employers, staying informed is key to ensuring compliance and retaining EU talent. This guide serves as a resource for both EU citizens and UK employers to adapt to the new regulations and maintain their livelihoods and workforce in the UK.

    Our multilingual, qualified London-based immigration specialists will get back to you, usually within 2-3 working days. If you have not attached any documents, the UK-based law firm may ask for relevant case-specific documents such as refusal letters, deportation orders, application forms, etc. After reviewing the documents and information, the legal advisor may suggest a course of action and quote the fees for processing the application.

    2. The Impact of Brexit on EU Citizens’ Voting Rights in the UK

    Changes in Voting Rights Post-Brexit

    Brexit has significantly altered the voting rights of EU citizens residing in the UK, affecting their participation in various elections.

    Election TypeVoting Rights Change Due to Brexit
    Local ElectionsBefore Brexit: Could vote
    After Brexit: Can still vote
    European Parliament ElectionsBefore Brexit: Could vote
    After Brexit: No longer eligible
    Regional ElectionsBefore Brexit: Could vote (in some cases)
    After Brexit: Depends on the region
    Voting Rights Before and After Brexit

    Role of Bilateral Agreements

    To preserve the democratic rights of EU citizens in the UK, the British government is negotiating bilateral agreements with EU countries.

    Purpose of Bilateral Agreements:

    • Objective: Establish reciprocal voting rights for UK nationals in EU countries and EU citizens in the UK.
    • Examples: Agreements with Spain, Portugal, and Luxembourg allow their citizens to vote in local UK elections and vice versa.

    Importance for EU Citizens

    Staying Informed and Engaged:

    • Awareness: EU citizens should remain informed about their voting rights and any updates due to Brexit or new agreements.
    • Democratic Participation: Active involvement in local and regional elections is crucial for integration and community contribution.

    Concluding Remarks

    Post-Brexit, while EU citizens in the UK have lost the right to vote in European Parliament elections, they retain the right to vote in local elections and, depending on the region, in regional elections as well. Bilateral agreements play a key role in upholding these rights. Active participation in these democratic processes is essential for EU citizens to integrate and contribute meaningfully to their local communities.

    3. Traveling and Living in the EU as a UK Citizen Post-Brexit

    Overview of New Rules:

    Post-Brexit, UK citizens face new regulations when visiting or residing in EU countries, impacting visa requirements, travel limitations, and property ownership.

    Travel DurationNew Rules for UK Citizens
    Short-term Visits (up to 90 days in 180 days)No visa needed for tourism, family visits, or business trips.
    Long-term Stays (over 90 days)May require a visa or residence permit for work, study, or extended stays.
    Visa Requirements and Travel Limitations

    Impact on Property Ownership in the EU:

    UK citizens owning property in the EU must navigate local regulations, including visa requirements, registration, and tax obligations. It’s vital to research and comply with the specific rules of the respective EU country.

    4. Impact on EU Citizens Coming to the UK after Brexit

    Changes to Immigration Rules:

    EU citizens now need to follow the same immigration rules as non-EU nationals, marking a significant shift from the pre-Brexit freedom of movement.

    Points-Based Immigration System:

    Introduced in January 2021, this system applies to both EU and non-EU citizens, focusing on skill level, English proficiency, and job offers.

    Visa TypeCriteria
    Skilled Worker VisaRequires a job offer, meets salary and skill level thresholds.
    Global Talent VisaFor leaders in specific fields.
    Start-Up and Innovator VisasFor entrepreneurs and business innovators.
    Graduate VisaFor international graduates in the UK.
    Visa Routes for EU Citizens


    For UK citizens, adapting to the post-Brexit rules is crucial for hassle-free travel and residence in the EU. Understanding visa requirements and property regulations ensures continued enjoyment of EU benefits.

    For EU citizens moving to the UK, awareness of the new points-based immigration system is key. By meeting these criteria, EU nationals can continue to work and live in the UK, contributing to its workforce and culture.

    5. Support Services and Resources for EU Citizens in the UK

    Navigating the post-Brexit landscape can be complex for EU citizens in the UK, but numerous organizations provide vital support and resources.

    Key Organizations and Resources:

    OrganizationServices Provided
    UK Home OfficeOfficial information on the EU Settlement Scheme and immigration rules.
    Citizens AdviceFree advice on immigration, housing, employment, and more.
    The3millionAdvocacy and resources for EU citizens’ rights in the UK.
    SettledAssistance with the EU Settlement Scheme and securing rights and status.
    Key Organizations and Resources

    6. Recent Developments and Outlook for EU-UK Relations

    Recent Changes and Updates:

    Stay informed about the latest developments in immigration policies and procedures, as these can impact EU citizens’ rights in the UK.

    Ongoing Negotiations:

    AspectPotential Impact
    Negotiations with the EUCould affect recognition of qualifications, social security coordination, and family reunification rights.
    Future OutlookUncertain; depends on UK-EU relations and negotiations.
    Ongoing Negotiations

    7. Conclusion: EU Citizens Rights in the UK after Brexit

    This blog post has explored the rights of EU citizens in the UK post-Brexit, covering the EU Settlement Scheme, voting rights changes, and the implications for UK citizens in the EU. We’ve highlighted the crucial role of support services and the importance of staying updated on future changes.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Settled and Pre-Settled Status: Essential for EU citizens to continue living and working in the UK.
    • Impact on Rights: Includes work, healthcare, education, and family reunification.
    • Support Availability: Numerous organizations offer guidance and assistance.
    • Staying Informed: Keep abreast of ongoing negotiations and policy updates.

    Final Thoughts:

    For EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens in the EU, understanding and adapting to these changes is key to accessing opportunities and benefits. Staying informed and seeking support when needed will help navigate the complexities of the post-Brexit era.

    8. FAQs: Post-Brexit EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK

    1. Do EU citizens need a visa to visit the UK post-Brexit?

      For short visits up to 180 days, EU citizens don’t need a visa for tourism, family visits, or business trips. For longer stays or specific purposes like work or study, a visa may be required.

    2. Can EU citizens still access NHS healthcare in the UK?

      EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme are eligible for NHS services.

    3. Are EU citizens allowed to vote in UK elections after Brexit?

      EU citizens can vote in local elections and, in some cases, regional elections. However, they are no longer eligible to vote in European Parliament elections.

    4. What is the EU Settlement Scheme and who is eligible?

      The EU Settlement Scheme allows EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens who lived in the UK before December 31, 2020, to obtain settled or pre-settled status, enabling them to continue living in the UK post-Brexit.

    5. What rights do EU citizens have with settled status in the UK?

      Settled status grants rights to work, use NHS services, access public funds and services, and apply for British citizenship.

    6. Can family members of EU citizens join them in the UK post-Brexit?

      Close family members can join EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status in the UK. They need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

    7. How has Brexit affected UK citizens living in the EU?

      UK citizens in the EU face new rules for residency, travel, and access to services. Bilateral agreements between the UK and EU countries may offer specific rights.

    8. What should EU citizens in the UK do to secure their rights post-Brexit?

      EU citizens should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to secure their residency and rights in the UK.

    9. Are there changes to work and study rights for EU citizens in the UK?

      EU citizens with settled or pre-settled status retain their rights to work and study in the UK. Those arriving post-Brexit need to comply with the new points-based immigration system.

    10. Where can EU citizens find support and advice on their rights in the UK?

      Organizations like the UK Home Office, Citizens Advice, The3million, and Settled provide resources and support for EU citizens in the UK.

    This FAQ section aims to address key concerns and provide succinct answers for EU citizens rights in the UK after Brexit. For further details on EU Citizens’ Rights in the UK after Brexit, please refer to: UK Government: Settled and Pre-Settled Status.