Guidance and support for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who wish to reside in Wales.
Wales is home to thousands of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who enrich our communities and contribute to our public services and economic success.
We are determined to ensure that citizens who have chosen to make Wales their home continue to feel valued members of our communities. We want to reassure them that Wales is a welcoming nation.
We fund Settled to provide free immigration advice and support to those citizens who wish to make Wales their home.
The deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme has now passed
Wednesday, 30 June 2021, was the deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members, who were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020.
If you have made a late application or applied to upgrade to settled status, the UK government have said your rights will be protected until your application is decided. You would have been issued with a Certificate of Application which you can use to evidence your rights.If you have made a late application or applied to upgrade to settled status, the UK government have said your rights will be protected until your application is decided. You would have been issued with a Certificate of Application which you can use to evidence your rights.
If you were not resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, please visit the link below for further information on the requirements for working or studying in the UK.
There is still time: Applying after the deadline
If you were eligible for EUSS but didn’t apply before 30 June 2021 and had reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, there is still time for you to make a late application.
There are many different reasons that can be included as reasonable grounds for not applying by the deadline.
You can find guidance on how to apply and examples of reasonable grounds on GOV.UK. if you have a reason that isn’t listed you can still apply and your reason will be considered.
Changes to the EUSS
On 17 July 2023 the Home Office announced a number of changes to the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you have pre-settled status you will automatically have your status extended by 2 years. For example, if your status was due to expire in December 2023, it will be extended until December 2025. If your status has been extended you will be notified by the Home Office and your digital status on the View and Prove system will be updated automatically.
The Home Office will also automatically upgrade pre-settled status holders to settled status if they are eligible. You will only be eligible for this automatic upgrade if the Home Office can evidence you have lived in the UK for the last 5 years. If your status has been automatically upgraded you will be notified by the Home Office.
You do not have to wait for your status to be automatically upgraded to settled status following the end of the 2 year extension. You can apply to upgrade as soon as you are eligible.
If you do not have 5 years continued residence you will not be eligible for the automatic upgrade. However, you can apply as soon as you qualify for settled status.
From 8 August 2023 the following routes will close to new applications:
- EUSS Family Permit
You can find out what alternative routes family members can apply for on GOV.UK
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and were lawfully resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 your rights will be protected.
If you are an eligible person who has applied for either pre-settled or settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme, you will have broadly the same continued entitlements to work, study and access public services and benefits as you did prior to the UK leaving the European Union.
The relevant citizens' rights you will remain entitled to:
- Residency - this covers rights to reside, leave and re-enter.
- Rights of workers and self-employed persons - this covers the rights of workers, self-employed persons and frontier workers
- Mutual recognition of professional qualifications - this covers the right for recognised professional qualifications to continue to be recognised.
- Co-ordination of social security systems - these include benefits, access to education, housing and access to healthcare.
If you or your family need further help, there are a number of organisations in Wales that can provide you with free, independent advice and support.
Employers of EU citizens
A toolkit is available to equip employers with tools and information to support EU citizens and their families about the EU Settlement Scheme.
Understanding the experiences of EU citizens in Wales
The Welsh Government is undertaking a research project to help policymakers understand the experiences of EU citizens in Wales, The project aims to find out if the experiences of EU citizens differ from the experiences of British citizens.
The project focuses on:
- Health (especially mental health) of EU citizens
- Educational experiences of EU citizens.
- EU citizens’ involvement in the workforce.
The findings from this research project will help the Welsh Government gain a better understanding of the experiences of EU citizens in Wales to help inform and shape future policies.
If you’d like more information on the project please email Ffion.Lloyd-Williams@gov.wales