Case study

Example case studies: EU citizens' rights in the UK

Examples of how EU citizens’ residence status in the UK will be affected after the UK’s exit from the EU.

Andriana, Christophe and Aisha

After the UK leaves the EU, EU citizens’ residence status in the UK will depend on how long they have lived here and whether they arrived by 29 March 2019.

More details about the UK government’s offer to EU citizens: Status of EU citizens in the UK: what you need to know.

‘Andriana’ will have been resident in the UK for 10 years when the UK leaves the EU

Andriana is a Greek national who will have been resident in the UK for 10 years on 29 March 2019.

Andriana will continue to have the right to exercise her free movement rights to live and work in the UK up to the point that the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019. As Andriana has been living continuously in the UK for over 5 years (without an absence of more than 2 years after that 5 years), she also immediately qualifies for settled status, subject to criminality and security checks.

This means she can apply for settled status under the new UK scheme once it is open. Once she has received her status she does not need to do anything further after the UK leaves the EU. Andriana will have successfully obtained her immigration status in UK law.

It’s OK if Andriana doesn’t immediately apply for settled status. She can remain in the UK after exit and continue her activities for a period of 2 years. However, she must apply to the Home Office by 29 March 2021 for permission to stay if she intends to carry on living in the UK afterwards.

‘Christophe’ arrived before the UK’s exit but won’t have been resident in the UK for 5 years when we leave the EU

Christophe is a French teacher who arrived before the UK’s exit from the EU and will have been resident in the UK for 4 years at the point the UK leaves the EU.

After the UK leaves, Christophe will be able to continue to live and work in the UK until 29 March 2021 without having to make an application. As soon as Christophe has been resident for 5 years, he will be entitled to apply for settled status which will allow him to settle in the UK permanently.

‘Lukas’ arrived before the UK’s exit but won’t have been resident in the UK for 5 years by the end of the 2-year period after exit

Lukas is an Austrian national who came to work in the UK before the cut-off date. He will have been resident in the UK for 2 years before the UK’s exit from the EU.

After the UK leaves the EU, Lukas will be able to continue to live and work in the UK during the 2-year period after exit without having to apply for any permission. He must apply to the Home Office for a temporary residence status if he wishes to continue to live in the UK after 29 March 2021. This will enable him to continue lawfully living and working in the UK until he meets the 5-year threshold.

Once Lukas has been resident for 5 years he will be entitled to apply for settled status which will allow him to settle in the UK permanently.

‘Audra’ and ‘Ignas’ qualify for settled status and are expecting a baby

Audra and Ignas moved to the UK from Lithuania in 2015. They are married and are expecting a baby later in 2018.

After the UK leaves the EU, Audra and Ignas will be able to stay in the UK as now during the 2-year period after exit without having to apply for permission to do so. Once they have been resident for 5 years, in 2020, they will be entitled to apply for settled status which will allow them to settle in the UK permanently.

When their child is born later this year, their son or daughter will also have the opportunity to stay permanently in the UK. Once they get settled status, Audra and Ignas will need to apply for settled status on their child’s behalf. Or they can instead choose to register their child as a British citizen.

‘Agnieszka’ is intending to study in a UK university

Agnieszka is a Polish national who has lived in England since February 2017 and is intending to stay here and apply to study at an English university after the UK has left the EU. Prior to arriving in the UK, Agnieszka had lived in Poland for her entire life.

Under existing student finance rules (and assuming she meets relevant eligibility requirements), Agnieszka will be awarded home fee status and will be able to access a fee loan, both of which will continue for the duration of her course. Under the relevant eligibility requirements, Agnieszka needs to have lived in the EU for 3 years prior to study to qualify for a tuition fee loan and home fee status.

The UK intends to maintain Agnieszka’s entitlements to student support and home fee status once we leave the EU, in line with persons settled in the UK.

Published 26 June 2017
Last updated 8 December 2017 + show all updates
  1. Case studies updated: agreement reached on EU on citizens’ rights in the UK.
  2. First published.