What was the fee for?
If you’re an EU citizen living in Britain, you won’t have to leave when Britain leaves the EU on 29 March. In fact, you and your family will be able to continue living in the UK without doing anything until 31 December 2020.
But if you want to stay beyond that, you’ll have to apply for either ‘settled’ or ‘pre-settled’ status (unless you’re an Irish citizen, or already have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK).
- Settled status will be given to successful applicants who by the time they apply have been living in the UK for at least five years.
- Pre-settled status will be given to successful applicants who won’t have lived in the UK for five years by the time they apply.
Whether you’re applying for settled or pre-settled status, you’ll need to do so via the EU Settlement Scheme – which until today’s announcement would have incurred the £65 fee for an adult.
Both settled and pre-settled status will mean you can live and work in the UK, enrol in education or continue studying, use the NHS, access benefits and pensions if eligible, and bring family members to the UK to stay long-term.
If you get pre-settled status, you can:
- Stay in the UK for a further five years from the date you get pre-settled status.
- Apply for settled status as soon as you’ve lived in the UK for five years and spent at least six months of each year in the UK. You will not need to pay a fee.
- Spend up to two years in a row outside the UK without losing your pre-settled status.
If you get settled status, you can:
- Stay in the UK for as long as you like.
- Apply for British citizenship if you meet the requirements.
- Spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.
- Your children will automatically become British citizens.
Full information on the scheme is available in our 25 Brexit need-to-knows guide.