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EU Citizens Moving to The UK After Brexit in 2023

EU nationals who wish to work, live, or study in the UK in 2023 following Brexit must apply for a visa. However, those with EU pre-settled or settled status can continue to live, work and study in the UK freely. Also, even after Brexit, EU, EEA, or Swiss Citizen nationals who wish to come to the UK for a short temporary stay to study, for business, or to visit, do not require a visa for a stay of up to 6 months.

There are several ways that EU citizens can move to the UK after Brexit for a longer stay, including the following UK visas:

To understand your options as an EU citizen moving to the UK after Brexit, you can speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at

EU Settlement Scheme

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was put in place to enable EU nationals who had been living in the UK before the end of 2020 to secure permanent residence in the UK. As such, the scheme is only open to EU nationals who were living in the UK before 31st December 2020.

Those moving to the UK from the EU under the EUSS are granted either pre-settled or settled status. Settled status is granted to applicants who have already been living in the UK for 5 years when they apply and hence qualify for permanent residence. Pre-settled status is granted to those who have not been living in the UK for 5 years and gives them another 5 years’ permission to stay in the UK to meet the qualifying time for permanent residence.

Most applicants were required to apply to the EUSS by 30th June 2021. However, it is still possible to do so if you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for why you did not meet the deadline. This might include if you were seriously ill or injured, a person with responsibility for your care did not apply for you, or if you are a victim of domestic violence.

The EU Settlement Scheme is also still open to non-EU family members who joined an EU family member on or after 1st April 2021 in the UK. However, the EU family member must have been living in the UK by 31st December 2020.

EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

The EU Settlement Scheme family permit is for family members of a person from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein who started living in the UK before the end of 2020. The EUSS family permit scheme is designed to help eligible family members to join loved ones in the UK and allows them to stay for up to 6 months.

The Surinder Singh route which closed on 29th March 2022, enabled non-EU nationals living with a British citizen in an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein, to return to the UK.

UK Family Visa

The UK family visa enables dependant family members, including spouses, children, and parents, to come to the UK to join their loved ones. Those who make a successful family visa application can stay for up to 2 years and 9 months initially and then extend this for a further 2 years and 6 months. At this point, they can apply to settle in the UK (ILR). To apply for a family visa, applicants must:

  • Have a child, partner, or parent who is a British national or settled in the UK
  • If applying as a partner, either be married or in a civil partnership with their UK sponsor or have been in a relationship with them for at least 2 years
  • If applying as a child, they must be financially dependant on their parent/s and not live an independent life
  • Meet the English language requirement
  • Have sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependants

Please see our page, “can I stay in the UK if my child is British” if you wish to apply for a parent visa.

Skilled Worker Visa

After Brexit, EU nationals now require a work visa to be employed in paid work in the UK if they don't have settled status or pre-settled status. The most popular route is the UK Skilled Worker visa.

The Skilled Worker visa is a sponsored immigration route allowing foreign nationals to come to the UK for the purposes of employment. Skilled Worker applicants must have a Certificate of Sponsorship from a UK employer. Only qualifying UK employers with a Home Office sponsor licence can have permission to sponsor overseas workers. To make a successful application for a Skilled Worker, you must have:

  • A job offer from a sponsoring employer in the UK
  • The job must be on the list of eligible occupations
  • A salary that meets the minimum requirements
  • Sufficient knowledge of the English language
  • Sufficient funds to support yourself in your first year in the UK

Fore more information, please check our page skilled worker visa eligibility and how to apply.

Frontier Worker Permit

The Frontier Work Permit is for nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, or Liechtenstein who travel to work in the UK but ordinarily live in their home country. Applicants must have been working in the UK before the end of 2020. Those granted a Frontier Worker Permit can enter the UK as a frontier worker, access certain public benefits and services such as NHS healthcare, and prove their right to work or rent.

Innovator visa

The Innovator visa is for foreign nationals who wish to come to the UK to set up and run an innovative business here. The innovative idea must be endorsed by an approved endorsing body as being:

  • new – the idea can not be working in an existing business
  • innovative – the idea must be unique
  • viable – the idea must have the potential for growth

Innovator visa applicants must also:

  • have at least £50,000 in investment funds
  • be at least 18 years of age
  • meet the English language requirements
  • have enough savings to support themselves in the UK

Successful Innovator visa applicants can stay for up to 3 years initially and then if they wish, apply for ILR to remain here permanently.

High potential individual visa

The High Potential Individual visa (HPI visa) is a new visa scheme that allows foreign nationals who graduated from a top international university in the last 5 years to come to live, work, or become self-employed. Applicants must have received the equivalent of a UK bachelor’s degree, postgraduate degree, or Ph.D. or doctorate. EU citizens moving to the UK with an HPI visa can stay for 2 years (3 years for those with a Ph.D. or doctorate). However, to stay longer, they need to apply to switch to a different type of visa.

Graduate visa

The UK Graduate visa is an excellent option for EU nationals who are due to graduate from a university in the UK. Those who are eligible can stay in the UK for up to 2 years after they graduate. Many graduate visa holders will use this time to find skilled work in the UK to start their new careers.

The 2-year graduate visa cannot be extended, but holders can switch to a different type of visa before their leave expires. Some options include the family visa for those with a partner or children in the UK and the Skilled Worker visa for those who find skilled work.

How can Reiss Edwards help?

Reiss Edwards specialises in all areas of immigration law, including UK visas and ILR applications for EU nationals. Our immigration lawyers can:

  • Explain the immigration options available as an EU/EEA national
  • Advise on UK residency for EU citizens in 2022
  • Check your eligibility for your visa of choice
  • Check the eligibility of your partner and children
  • Advise how to overcome any eligibility problems
  • Prepare and submit your visa application on your behalf and of your family members
  • Handle any queries from the Home Office
  • Handle a refusal of a visa application
  • Discuss your plans for ILR and UK citizenship

For assistance with a UK visa application as an EU national, please speak to our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or by email at

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