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Brexit - what it means for you

This advice applies to Wales

The UK has left the EU. 

The UK and EU now have until 31 December 2020 to agree the new rules of how they work together. This means your rights will stay the same until after 31 December 2020 - there are no immediate changes.

We’ll publish new advice to help you understand any changes when they’re announced. We’ll also update our existing advice.

If you’re an EU citizen, you need to apply for an immigration status to continue living in the UK.

If you’re travelling before 31 December 2020

You’ll just need to show your passport or national ID card as usual, whether you’re a:

  • British citizen travelling to the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein
  • citizen of an EU country, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein entering or re-entering the UK

If you're a citizen of the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland or Liechtenstein

You need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to keep living, working, studying, getting benefits and using NHS services in the UK after 31 December 2020. It’s free to apply. Your family members should apply too, if they’re not British or Irish citizens.

It’s worth applying for the EU Settlement Scheme now - it can take time for your application to be processed.

You’ll need to apply even if:

  • you’ve been living in the UK for a while - it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been here, you’ll still need to apply
  • you already have a right to reside in the UK and a document proving this, for example a permanent residence document
  • you were born in the UK but are not a British citizen - sometimes being born here doesn’t mean you automatically have citizenship

You don’t need to apply if you’re also a British citizen.

If you or your child were born in the UK, check if you have or can get British citizenship.

If you need help with your EU Settlement Scheme application you can contact your nearest Citizens Advice.

If you’re asked to prove your rights to work or rent in the UK

If you’re doing things like applying for a job or renting a home, you can continue to use your passport or national ID card.

You can also use your passport or national ID card to enter and re-enter the UK. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t applied for the EU Settlement Scheme yet.

If you’re challenged on your rights to work or rent in the UK, it could be discrimination. You can check if you’re being discriminated against at work. You can also check if you’re being discriminated against in your housing.

You can also read more about proving your immigration status.

If you want to bring your family to the UK

Your family members need to be in the UK by 31 December 2020 to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. If they’re not in the UK by that date they can only join you if both the following apply:

  • you have ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • your relationship began before 31 December 2020

Find out more about keeping your family in the UK after Brexit.

Getting healthcare after Brexit

You and your family can carry on using the NHS if you normally live in the UK.
You need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to keep using the NHS for free after 31 December 2020.

You don’t need to prove your status to get treatment until after 31 December 2020. If you’re challenged on your rights to use the NHS, it could be discrimination. Check if you’re being discriminated against in health and care services.

If you have family or friends visiting from the EU, their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) will be valid for health cover until 31 December 2020.

You can find out more about free treatment and NHS charges for people from abroad.

If you’re a British citizen living in or planning to move to the EU

Check the advice for British citizens on GOV.UK.

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