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EU exit (Brexit)

This advice applies to Scotland

The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. This is known as Brexit.

The UK is now in a transition period until 31 December 2020. After that, the rights of EU nationals in the UK will change.

We've published new advice and updated existing pages to help answer your questions about Brexit. We'll keep updating our advice as more Brexit changes are announced.

Staying in the UK after Brexit

If you're an EEA or Swiss national living in the UK and you want to stay after 30 June 2021, you should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. You need to be in the UK by 11pm on 31 December 2020 to apply.

The EEA includes all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. You can check which countries are in the EU on the UK government website.

You'll need to apply to stay in the UK even if you already have a permanent residence document or have lived in the UK for a long time.

Read our advice on staying in the UK and keeping your family in the UK after Brexit.

If you're an Irish national, you won't have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK. But see our advice about keeping your family in the UK after Brexit.

Travelling in Europe after Brexit

If you're travelling between the UK and the EU before 1 January 2021, you'll just need to show your passport or national ID card as usual. This applies to:

  • British citizens who are travelling to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland
  • citizens of the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland who are coming or returning to the UK.

The rules about travelling to the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland will change on 1 January 2021. Read more about travelling in Europe after Brexit.

EU Citizens Support Service

If you have any questions about the EU Settlement Scheme or need help applying, you can contact our free, confidential and impartial EU Citizens Support Service.

You can call the service helpline on 0800 916 9847. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

More information

You can read more about how Brexit might affect EU citizens living in Scotland on the Scottish government website. This includes information about rights to housing, education, health and social care.

If you're a UK national living in an EU country, you can get country-specific information about how your rights might be affected on the UK government website. You can also read the guidance for all UK nationals living in the EU.

There are fact sheets about the rights of EU citizens in Scotland on the JustCitizens website. These fact sheets cover citizens' rights to:

  • work
  • NHS healthcare
  • vote
  • study
  • benefits
  • housing.

The fact sheets are available in English, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish.

If you're an employer or a business owner, you can read the UK government's guidance on preparing businesses for Brexit.

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