Brexit and Housing

The UK left the European Union on 31 January 2020. The following information outlines the impact of Brexit on access to housing for EEA and Swiss citizens.

What were the immediate changes?

There were no changes up to 31 December 2020 (the “Transition Period”) to the rules on accessing social housing, including supported housing, and homelessness assistance in England. This means EEA and Swiss citizens continued to be eligible to access these housing services on the same terms as previously. EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members needed to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021 to continue living in the UK after the Transition Period and to be eligible to access housing services.

People with Irish citizenship have not needed to apply for settled status.

The EU settlement scheme was designed to offer EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members living in the UK up to 31 December 2020 the opportunity to protect their right to stay in the UK beyond that date. EEA nationals, and their family members, including those with a derivative right to reside needed to apply to the Home Office under the EU Settlement Scheme to secure their long-term immigration status in the UK.

What is the likely outcome of the application?

The UK government has indicated the following:

  • Those with 5 or more years’ residence would be granted indefinite leave to enter or remain (also referred to as “settled status”).
  • Those with less than 5 years’ residence in the UK would be granted limited leave to enter or remain (also referred to as “pre-settled status”). Pre-settled status is normally granted for 5 years and you can then apply for Settled Status.

Where can I get further advice?

Advising on obtaining leave to enter or remain under the UK Immigration Rules is an immigration matter that can only be delivered by an immigration adviser authorised by the Office of the Immigration Services Commissioner (OISC) or a qualified solicitor.

Further information can also be obtained by contacting your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

The EU Settlement Resolution Centre helpline is also available if you need help or information about your EU Settlement Scheme application:

EU Settlement Resolution Centre
Telephone: 0300 123 7379
Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9:30am to 4:30pm

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