EU and EEA EFTA citizens who have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, have a number of rights in the UK or Gibraltar. Their family members also share these rights.
Find out more about these rights below.
This means that citizens have the right to choose to live in the UK or Gibraltar. The right to reside includes the right to enter and exit the UK.
A key right provided under the Agreements is to enable EU and EEA EFTA citizens (and their family members), living in the UK or Gibraltar at 11pm on 31 December 2020 (the end of the transition period), to stay in the UK or Gibraltar. There is also the right for certain family members to join an EU or EEA EFTA citizen in the UK or Gibraltar after this point in certain circumstances.
The UK Government decided under the terms of the Agreements that eligible individuals had to apply for residency rights under the EU Settlement Scheme (the EUSS). The deadline for applications to the EUSS was 30 June 2021, however, late applications can still be made and any eligible individual who has not yet made an application should do so as soon as possible.
Those who have obtained settled status or pre-settled status under the EUSS are entitled to live in the UK and to have the associated rights detailed on this page. Those with applications to the EUSS which have not yet been determined, are also entitled to the same rights.
In Gibraltar, no such requirement to apply to a scheme exists, so any EU or EEA citizen who lived in the Gibraltar by 31 December 2020 in accordance with EU law, and their family members, has the right to reside in Gibraltar.
No exit visa, entry visa or equivalent formality is required from those with settled status, pre-settled status or those who are waiting for a decision on their EUSS application. This is the same for those with residence rights in Gibraltar.
This means the right to work, including self-employed work. It also applies to frontier workers; citizens who are employed or self-employed in the UK but live elsewhere.
The right to work is based on the principle that employees, self-employed people and frontier workers cannot be discriminated against because of their nationality.
For employees, this means equal treatment when it comes to employment, payment and other conditions of work and employment. For self-employed people, this means the right to take up and pursue activities as a self-employed person and to set up and manage businesses.
The Agreements list a series of associated rights, including the right to assistance afforded by employment offices, right to social and tax advantages, rights and benefits in matters of housing, and a right for children of workers and self-employed persons to be educated.
Frontier workers (persons who live in the EU or an EEA EFTA state who travel regularly to the UK or Gibraltar for work) are also covered under the Agreements and will be able to enter and exit the UK or Gibraltar and will broadly retain the rights they enjoyed before the end of the transition period.
Mutual recognition of professional qualifications means the right for qualifications which have already been recognised before 31 December 2020 (or were in the process of being recognised at that time), to continue to be recognised in the UK.
This does not cover qualifications gained by individuals before 31 December 2020 but not recognised by the UK or Gibraltar at that time (or in process of being recognised). It also does not cover any qualifications gained after 31 December 2020 as they would not have been recognised in time. Any qualifications not recognised before this date would be subject to the relevant rules applicable in the UK or Gibraltar.
Individuals who have lived in both the UK and the EU before the end of the transition period can continue to access pensions, benefits and other forms of social security.
The free movement of workers across the EU and EEA EFTA states means that individuals may have paid into the social security system of more than one state. To ensure that access to contributory based benefits, such as state pensions, take into account the contributions made in different states, the Agreements make the necessary arrangements.
For example, a Portuguese citizen may have worked in Portugal, Spain and France and contributed to the respective social security systems in those countries before then settling in the UK before 31 December 2020. On retirement in the UK, their eligibility to state pension would, broadly speaking, be based on the contributions made in each of those countries, and not just those made since arriving in the UK.
EU and EEA EFTA citizens and their family members must be treated the same as UK and Gibraltarian citizens when it comes to accessing certain public services and some benefits.
As seen above, the principle of equal treatment and that EU and EEA citizens and their family members should not be treated differently to UK or Gibraltar nationals, exists in relation to each of the individual rights contained in the Agreements. There is also a general right not to be treated less favourably on the grounds of nationality which applies where there is no specific protection.
Taken together, this means that EU and EEA EFTA citizens and their family members must be treated the same as UK and Gibraltarian citizens when it comes to accessing certain public services and some benefits. This includes education and healthcare and some benefits, for example Universal Credit (subject to certain conditions being met).