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Human Resources


Free movement between the UK and EU ended on 1 January 2021. 

Citizens of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein (EEA Nationals) who settled in the UK before 11pm on 31 December 2020 can continue to live, work, and study in the UK, visa free but it is essential that they make an application to the EU Settlement Scheme.  

The deadline for applications is 30 June 2021.

Non-EEA family members

Non-EEA nationals who are the family members of EEA nationals will also be able to apply to the scheme. 

  • Those already resident in the UK can apply directly using the EU Settlement Scheme app.
  • Those not in the UK must apply from their country of residence and await the outcome of their application before entering the UK. 
  • Non-EEA family members will still be able to enter the UK after 31 December 2020 as long as their EEA national family member was in the UK before 31 December 2020.

From January 2021

The end of free movement means that EEA nationals not resident in the UK are now subject to immigration control.  All non-resident EEA nationals, with the exception of Irish Citizens, will need a appropriate visa before they can either work or be employed in the UK. 

EU Settlement Scheme

EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens must sign up to the EU Settlement Scheme, even if they already have Permanent Residency(PR). 

The only exceptions are Irish citizens, as they are covered by the Common Travel Area, and EU citizens who obtained Indefinite Leave to Remain prior to their Country's accession to the EU. Both are welcome to apply to the Scheme if they wish. 

Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are entirely electronic. The first section of the application is via an app that is available on both iPhone and Android. The app checks your ID document, you also have the option to do this by post or at an identity document scanning locations. HR also have an Android device and can assist you with your application. 

Eligibility Criteria

The EU Settlement Scheme offers two status depending on the length of an individual’s residency.

  • Settled Status: for individuals resident in the UK for five or more years
  • Pre-Settled Status: for individuals resident in the UK for fewer than five years.

How to Apply

The application process uses an individual’s National Insurance number to check HMRC and DWP records in real time to establish the length of residency. In most cases, this will yield the correct status after which the individual can submit their application for a final criminal records check. 

Unexpected Outcomes

Like any system, it can produce false negatives.  It is possible for an individual, resident for five or more years, to be offered Pre-Settled Status instead of Settled Status. 

Where an application produces an incorrect status, this does not mean it has been rejected; it means the online check cannot confirm the residency requirements have been met due to gaps in the individual’s records.  An applicant does not need to accept the offer of Pre-Settled status and will be provided with an opportunity to submit further evidence to confirm their residency.  The system also provides a note of which years require further information

The most common issues that cause this error are:

  • Gaps in tax history;
  • A period of study;
  • Change in name;
  • Different spellings of name;
  • Punctuation in an individual's name, such as umlauts and accents.

Deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme

The deadline for applications to the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. All applications to the scheme must be made before this date.

Frontier Workers

Provisions have been put in place for cross border workers from the EEA to allow them to continue to work in the UK from January 2021. If you are an EEA national who works for Queen Mary but you are not resident in the UK you will be able to apply for a Frontier Worker Permit. This will allow you to continue to work without the need for a visa.

Who is Eligible?

If you were employed by Queen Mary before 31 December 2020, then you will be may be eligible for the permit. You will need to meet all of the following criteria:

  • you’re from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein;
  • you live outside of the UK;
  • you have worked in the UK by 31 December 2020;
  • you have kept working in the UK at least once every 12 months since you started working here.

Your work in the UK must also be ‘genuine and effective’. This means it must be more than small, one-off tasks.

Who doesn’t need to apply?

If you’re an Irish citizen, you do not need to apply for a Frontier Worker permit but you can choose to do so.

You cannot apply if you’re a British citizen (this includes dual citizenship).

If you want to work in the UK from 1 January 2021, and were not working here before, you’ll need to apply for a appropriate work visa.

What does the permit allows you to do?

You can use your permit to enter the UK as a frontier worker and show your right to:

  • work;
  • rent;
  • access benefits and services, including NHS healthcare, if you meet the relevant eligibility requirements.

Your family members will not be covered by your Frontier Worker permit

When do I need to apply?

The permit application process is now open. You can apply at any time but you will need to have the permit by 1 July 2021. Until then you will be able to enter the UK using your passport or national ID card.

How to apply?

The application is made online. If you have a biometric passport you will be able to use a smartphone app.  If you cannot use the app you will need to attend an appointment at a visa application centre or UK Visa and Citizenship Application Services (UKVCAS) service point.

You’ll be told during your application if you need to attend an appointment.

Find out more

Further information and an FAQ about Brexit and the EU Settlment Scheme is available on Queen Mary's Brexit website.

For applications to the EU Settlement Scheme.

Further information on the UK / EEA EFTA and UK / Swiss agreements 

Further information on the Frontier Worker Permit can found on the the UK Government website.

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