Brexit is the term used to describe the United Kingdom's departure from the European Union (EU). How Brexit impacts you will depend on when you come/came to the UK.
The UK left the EU at 11pm (GMT) on 31 January 2020 on the basis of an agreement made between the UK and the EU known as the Withdrawal Agreement. The UK made separate agreements with the EEA EFTA states (Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein) and Switzerland.
The European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Act 2020 contains all the provisions of these agreements including an agreement on citizens' rights during the 'transition period', The transition period is a period of time (which started as soon as the UK left the EU and will continue until 11pm GMT on 31 December 2020). During this time EU, EEA and Swiss citizens – and their relevant family members – can come to, or remain in, the UK on the same basis as before the UK left the EU (in line with European law).
You will need to apply for immigration permission by certain deadlines if you are:
- in the UK currently and intending to stay beyond 31 December 2020; or
- coming to the UK before 31 December 2020 and intending to stay beyond 31 December 2020
- intending to come to the UK from 1 January 2021
Immigration permission for those in the UK or coming to the UK before 31 December 2020
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens and their eligible family members can still come to the UK (without requiring immigration permission, but in line with European law
) until the end of the transition period (11pm on 31 December 2020) and apply for immigration permission in the UK under the UK government’s EU Settlement Scheme
. Anyone who wishes to remain in the UK beyond the transition period will need to do this, or will need apply for immigration permission under another category of the immigration Rules.
The settlement scheme is also available to those who were resident in the UK before the end of the transition period and who meet the eligibility criteria, but who are temporarily absent from the UK before the end of the transition period for a period and/or reason described under the definition of ‘continuous qualifying period’ in Annex 1- Definitions
of Appendix EU of the Immigration Rules.
Immigration permission for those intending to come to the UK from 1 January 2021
There will be a new immigration system in place from 1 January 2021. The student route will be open from 9 a.m. on 5 October 2020 for applications made outside the UK from EEA nationals coming to the UK from 1 January 2021 to study a course which meets the requirements of the route. Please see information from the UK government about applying under the new student route and our news item for more details about the changes from the current student route.
Anyone intending to come to the UK from January 2021 under a different route will need to apply under the relevant category of the immigration Rules in place at that time. We'll update this page as we get information.
Travelling to the UK
See the Home Office information about documents needed to travel to the UK