This article will provide background to the EU Settlement Scheme along with useful information for both employers and employees.
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was established to enable EU, EEA and Swiss citizens resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, and their family members, to get the immigration status they need to continue to live, work, study, and access benefits and services, such as healthcare, in the UK after the closure date of the scheme, 30 June 2021.
So, is the EU Settlement Scheme closed?
The EU Settlement Scheme closed for most new applicants on 30th June 2021, however, you can still apply if that deadline did not apply to you, or you have ‘reasonable grounds for not applying by the deadline (further information below). There is no fee for an application under the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Learn more about the EU Settlement Scheme in this PDF from the UK Home Office.
- Make a late application to the EU Settlement Scheme.
- Find out more information for employers.
As an employer, what do I need to know about my workforce?
Employers should focus on understanding their workforce – its makeup, needs, and vulnerabilities.
How many EEA nationals (who are not Irish) are in your workforce?
What is the risk of your affected employees not making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, and how does that impact on the organisation? e.g. What is the potential cost of a loss of production if your employees do not make an application under the scheme and are unable to work for you as a result?
As an employer you are not responsible for making sure your EU employees have applied. However, for many organisations the EUSS has been an important aspect of workforce planning and retention.
Employees awaiting the outcome of their application will be provided with a Certificate of Application (CoA). They can use this to prove their right to work. Those who do not yet have a digital CoA can rely on their EU Settlement Scheme email (or letter if they submitted a paper application) confirming receipt of their application, as proof of their right to work, when this is verified by the Home Office Employer Checking Service.
EU citizens not eligible for status under the EU Settlement Scheme will need to obtain an immigration status under the points-based system in the same way as other foreign nationals. As an employer you can learn more about the way you hire from the EU on GOV.UK.
As an employee, how do I complete an application?
There are a number of guides online on how to complete an application under the EU Settlement Scheme.
We have provided a video walkthrough of the "settled status" application by CJ McKinney, from the “Free Movement” website.
Note: This video was recorded in January 2019, when the Settlement Scheme was still in its test phase. The application process is still the same overall, but some of the details have changed, so your experience of the process will no longer be exactly as shown in the video.
Article reviewed: May 2023