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McGill & Co is a Scottish immigration law firm specialising in UK immigration, nationality and refugee law.

EU Settlement Scheme: a guide

17 July 2019 James Ritchie Brexit & EU Migration

 If you are an EU citizen or the family member of one, who wishes to remain in the UK after Brexit, you must make an application through what is known as the EU Settlement Scheme. Doing so will grant you either 'settled status' or 'pre-settled status', depending on how long you have resided in the UK. In this blog, the settlement scheme process will be broken down into three stages.

 Stage 1: The smartphone app

The first, and most frustrating, stage is the smartphone app. The name of the app is 'EU Exit: ID Document Check' and is available on the Google Play Store.

Once downloaded, the applicant must:

  1. Answer whether they are an EU citizen or not;
  2. Hover their smartphone over the ID page of their passport or Biometric Residence Permit (BRP); and
  3. Enter their phone number and email address.

Once these steps have been completed, a six digit code will be sent to the phone number entered earlier on the app. The applicant must then:

  1. Scan the biometric chip  in their passport, BRP, or residence document; and
  2. Scan the applicant’s face by taking a photograph, in essence a 'selfie'

This stage is fraught with technical issues, the most common being the smartphone’s inability to scan passports and residence documents. A review page will then pop up asking the applicant to submit information. If everything is correct, you should submit and carry on to the second stage.

Stage 2: The online form

The online form involves filling out information concerning your application type, residence in the UK, and criminal convictions. The online form can be found in this link.

The 'application type’ section will consist of questions related to your nationality and immigration status.

The ‘residence in the UK’ section will attempt to verify your residence in the UK. You will be asked for your address history, whether you’ve been known by any other name, and your National Insurance number.

The ‘criminal convictions’ section is self-explanatory. If have any criminal convictions, you must provide details for each.

You will be asked to review all of the above information before submission.

Stage 3: Under consideration

This stage will be the light at the end of the tunnel for some, and for others that light will be an oncoming train of further evidence. Once the answers have been submitted and you have answered a number of security questions, you will be given one of three provisional results:

  1.  You will be considered for settled status
  2. You will be considered for pre-settled status
  3. We need more evidence of your residence

The first result is the upshot of a successful scan of government records, evidencing your five year residence in the UK. You will then be asked to submit application.

The second result is similar to the first, but for those who have been in the UK for less than five years. If you receive this result and have been in the UK for five years or more, do not submit the application. Select the option ‘show I’m eligible for settled status’. You will then be asked to upload documentary evidence of the five year residence period you have claimed.

The third result is the outcome of an unsuccessful check of government records. There are a number of reasons for this result, and the effect is that an applicant must manually upload evidence to demonstrate their eligibility for either settled or pre-settled status.

After all of these steps have been completed and you are successful, you will receive an email confirming your status. No BRP or residence document will be issued for either status.


The EU Settlement Scheme opened on 30 March 2019, providing EU nationals with a deadline to apply of 30 June 2021. This deadline to apply will fall on 30 December 2020, should the UK leave without a deal.

Please note that certain aspects of the application have been condensed for the sake of brevity. If you would like more information tailed to your situation, we offer consultations and a full application service to provide advice and assistance on the best course of action to take to secure your position the UK, please fill out our online enquiry form.


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