2. Residence status of Germans and their dependants in the United Kingdom



EU citizens who took up residence in the United Kingdom prior to 1 January 2021 had to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the United Kingdom after 30 June 2021.

Even though the deadline has passed, we encourage applicants to still submit an application, and include an explanation of the reason for the late submission. You can get pre-settled status or settled status, depending on how long you have been living in the United Kingdom when you apply.

Essentially, EU citizens who were already living in the United Kingdom prior to 31 December 2020 can stay and can continue to enjoy more extensive rights than EU citizens arriving to take up residence after 1 January 2021. They do not have to have been working or earning money. However, they have to have applied for settled status or pre-settled status by 30 June 2021 and must not have committed any serious crimes. For late applications, see 2a. Submit an application and explain the reasons for the late Submission.

The electronic application process under the EU Settlement Scheme has been in place since March 2019. It is in two parts.

The first part is identifying yourself as an EU citizen. For this you need a passport with a modern chip and a relatively new mobile phone (Android or iphone 7 or newer). The data stored in the chip is sent to the Home Office via an app. The second part involves filling in a form online.

If you do not currently possess a valid identity document, you can download paper application forms from the UK government website, fill them in, scan them and submit them by email.

However, you will also need to send your documentation (including your national ID card or passport) by post to the Home Office with your paper application. Before sending them off it is important to take a high-quality photocopy (or a scan or photo) of your documents, making sure the passport photo, especially, is nice and clear. Then if the original document gets lost in the post, you can use this copy when applying for a new one. It would be even better if you had the copy certified by a British notary public. In the case of birth, marriage and other certificates it is in any case advisable to only send certified copies by post.

You can get advice from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre (tel. 0300 123 7379, or from outside the United Kingdom: +44 (0)203 080 0010, Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm, Saturday + Sunday 9.30am - 4.30pm).

Information for dual nationals: Anyone who (also) possesses British or Irish citizenship does not require a new residence status. People who have both an EU citizenship and British citizenship and who exercised their rights under the Free Movement Directive (“Treaty rights”) for at least 5 years prior to gaining British citizenship, are not allowed to apply for settled status, but do enjoy the same rights as people with settled status, for example with regard to family members joining them, in other words more extensive rights than other British citizens. It is advisable, for the purpose of proof, to keep safe all documents providing evidence of the exercise of rights under the Free Movement Directive, so that if, for example, many years later, you want to bring family members in need of assistance to the United Kingdom, you do not have trouble providing proof of circumstances far back in the past.

Since 1 July 2021, EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom have to be able to prove their residence status, especially if they are working or in education, entering into a tenancy agreement or opening a bank account, or if they claim benefits or use the NHS.

If the British authorities are made aware that an eligible EU citizen has not yet submitted an application, a final grace period of 28 days is granted. If you are making a late application you should also state the reason for applying late. If this is deemed “reasonable grounds”, the application will be processed.

See on the website of the British government

Here you can find the British government guidelines for handling late applications and examples of “reasonable grounds” for applying late.

Read also here

A Permanent Residence Card served to document an EU citizen’s permanent right of residence acquired under European law. You could only apply for one until 31 December 2020, and they are no longer valid.

However, you should keep this document safe because it proves that you exercised EU Treaty Rights for more than 5 years. The document may prove useful in the future if you need to provide proof of having previously resided in the United Kingdom.

The British government has set up a number of facilities where you can go to have your passport scanned. A fee may be charged.

A list can be found here

It is possible, in exceptional cases, to submit a paper application. You can download paper application forms from the UK government website, fill them in, scan them and email them to the Home Office.

Read more on the website of the British government

We regret that the Embassy does not have the capacity to provide individual advice on British administrative procedures, e.g. applying for settled status, pre-settled status or British citizenship. The Home Office, which is the competent authority, has detailed information on its website:




Please send an email or letter to the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh setting out your particular case. They will endeavour to find a solution. In an emergency, an application can be submitted under the EU Settlement Scheme using an expired passport or another document that proves your identity, provided you are able to provide credible evidence that it is not currently possible for you to obtain a new passport. Please refer to the practical advice set out in question 2b.

EU citizens who have been granted settled status have lifelong permanent resident status (see 2i. for exceptions) in the United Kingdom, together with access to the labour market, the NHS, social benefits and free education on the same basis as British citizens. In addition, certain members of your family are allowed to join you, even if they do not have citizenship of an EU member state.

If you would like to know more about which family members can join you, and under what conditions, please visit the Home Office website, call the helpline number given on the website or consult a lawyer specialising in immigration law.

Yes, if you spend a continuous period of more than 5 years abroad or commit a serious crime. It is important that you travel back to the United Kingdom for at least one day before the 5 years expire and keep documentary evidence of this trip.

EU citizens with pre-settled status have a 5-year temporary right of residence, with the same access to the labour market, the National Health Service and free education as British citizens, as well as certain rights concerning bringing family members to join them. There are differences, though, in access to certain benefits (see 6 below).

Yes, if you were out of the country for longer than 2 years after your stay in the United Kingdom or if you left the country prior to 30 June 2020 and there is no evidence of you having re-entered prior to 31 December 2020.

Yes, this is essential. You cannot automatically move from pre-settled status to settled status. You have to have actively applied for settled status before the end of your 5-year period with pre-settled status otherwise your status will lapse.

The establishment of the Independent Monitoring Authority for the Citizens’ Rights Agreements (IMA) was agreed under the Withdrawal Agreement. The IMA is an independent body that makes sure public bodies are upholding the rights of EU citizens who took up residence in the UK and Gibraltar before the end of the Brexit transition period. Its job is to monitor public bodies in the UK and Gibraltar to ensure that these citizens continue to enjoy the same rights to live here, raise a family, work and study as they did before the UK left the EU. Citizens can contact the IMA via its website when they have experienced issues in connection with the EUSS. More information about its work can be found here.

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