Information and advice for EU citizens

Find out about the support available to EU citizens living in Richmond upon Thames.

Council stance

On Tuesday 11 September 2018, Richmond Council voted in favour of a motion to support the growing campaign for a #People’s Vote on the future Brexit deal.

At the Full Council meeting, Cllr Richard Pyne, Councillor for North Richmond, proposed a motion that voices the Council’s concern over the country leaving the EU and agrees that the British people should have a say on the terms negotiated.

Rights of Europeans living in the UK

Current situation 

Following the vote to leave the EU on 23 June 2016, there has been no change to the status or rights of EU citizens in the UK. EU citizens will retain their current rights up until the time when the UK formally leaves the EU, which is expected to occur in March 2019. 

Each individual’s circumstances are unique and it is difficult to recommend specific options when the proposals are still being negotiated. 

You can sign up to email alerts from the Home Office to be notified when there are developments on the status of EU nationals in the UK.

Government proposals

As part of the negotiations for Brexit, the UK Government has set out proposals for the rights of EU citizens after Britain leaves the EU. These proposals may change during the negotiations so it is important that you review the guidance on GOV.UK for the latest information.

Home Office guidance

The Home Office have produced the following guidance providing an overview of how the EU Settlement Scheme will work:

The EU Settlement Scheme will allow you and your family to continue to live, study and work in the UK. It means you will continue to be eligible for:

  • Public services, such as healthcare and schools
  • Public funds and pensions
  • British citizenship, if you meet the requirements and want to apply

Who is eligible to apply?

You need to be an EU citizen or a non-EU family member of an EU citizen. You will not need to apply if you are an Irish citizen.

You need to be a resident in the UK by 31 December 2020. If you have been a resident in the UK for more than five continuous years when you apply, you will be eligible for settled status. If you have been a resident for less than five years when you apply, you will be eligible for pre-settled status.

You must not be a serious or persistent criminal, or a threat to national security.

Family members

The EU Settlement Scheme covers all EU citizens living in the UK and their family members. Family members do not need to be from the EU; they can come from anywhere in the world (referred to as non-EU citizen family members).

Non-EU family members living in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. Your close family members that are not living in the UK by 31 December 2020 will be able to join you in the UK at any point in the future, as long as the relationship still exists. Children born or adopted after 31 December 2020, and future dependants, will also have their rights protected.

How to apply

To apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from Saturday 30 March 2019, you will need to complete a short online application form. There will be support available if you need help to complete the form.

The EU Settlement Scheme will fully open by  Saturday 30 March 2019. In line with the draft Withdrawal Agreement, you will be able to apply until Sunday 30 June 2021 and your rights will remain unchanged until then.

Basic information

You will need to provide basic information such as your name, date of birth, contact details and nationality.

Proof of identity

You can use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify your identity if you have a biometric passport or biometric EU national identity card. Non-EU citizens must have a biometric residence card to use the app. You will also need to provide a photo of your face, so it can be checked against your identity document. You can take a photo through the app or upload one as part of the online application form.

This functionality is currently only available on Android devices. If you do not have access to an Android device, you will be able to visit a location to complete your identity check. A list of locations providing this service can be found on GOV.UK.

If you do not have a biometric identity document, or if you prefer, you can send your identity document to the Home Office in the post from Saturday 30 March 2019.

Proof of residence

You can prove your residence by providing your National Insurance number, if you have one. Other documentation may be used or required to show proof of residence. You can upload these to your online application. A list of suggested evidence that is accepted can be found on GOV.UK.

Criminality check

You will be asked to declare any criminal convictions. Only serious or persistent criminality will affect your application. This will not affect the vast majority of EU citizens and their family members.

Approval

Subject to the application checks, you will be granted settled or pre-settled status, depending on how long you have lived here. In most cases your new immigration status will be granted within a couple of weeks. Once you receive your status, details will be provided on how to access it on GOV.UK.

Council support

In 2017, we agreed a package of measures to support the borough’s European residents in light of the Government’s overall plans to protect the rights of EU citizens in the UK, once the country leaves the EU.

Passport Support Service

We have now established a new European Passport Return Service (EPRS). This is specifically for EU residents applying for a registration certificate or a document certifying permanent residence.

This new service enables eligible residents to bring their passports to the Register Office in Twickenham to be verified and copied. The Council will then send copies to the Home Office.

The benefit of this service is that applicants can keep hold of their passports while their application is being considered.

EU advice service

A new local EU advice service has been launched through Citizens Advice Richmond. This enables EU residents to get impartial, expert advice on nationality matters or the impact of the Government’s proposals and options available for them. This includes an information website and a series of public information events.

See the video of the September 2018 event.

Updated: 25 February 2019