The EEA comprises 30 European countries: 27 EU countries, Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland. The new rules also apply to Swiss citizens who are not formally part of the EEA.
After 30 June 2021, the UK Ministry of the Interior will not accept permanent residence cards and certificates of registration in EEA countries and Switzerland. To live permanently in the country, you must apply for resident status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). This rule also applies to the members of the settler's family.
Exceptions are EEA and Swiss nationals with an indefinite residence permit or an indefinite leave to enter the UK. If they have the appropriate stamp in their passport or an official letter from the UK Ministry of the Interior, they do not need to apply for resident status.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs recommends that residency status be obtained in any case. This will make it easier for citizens of other countries to prove their right to enter, reside, study and work in the country. In particular, it will be easier to access British banks and the healthcare system.
EUSS residency status ceases if the holder has lived outside the UK for 5 consecutive years. An indefinite residence permit of the old format is revoked if the person has lived in another country for 2 consecutive years.
New entry rules for EEA and Swiss nationals
On 31 December 2020, the transition period following the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union will end. After that, EEA and Swiss nationals must comply with the country's migration control regulations. For example, when entering the country, they may be asked to confirm their resident status in the UK.
After 1 October 2021, EEA and Swiss nationals must present their passport when entering the UK. Before this deadline, it is sufficient to have an ID-card with you. Visa-free entry will remain valid for short-term tourist trips.
Until 31 December 2025, ID-card will be allowed to be used by holders to enter the UK:
- UK residency status under the EUSS scheme;
- medical visa type S2;
- proof of employment in the border zone;
- proof of employment with Swiss service providers.
We talked about the requirements and exceptions in the material "The UK has announced new entry rules for EU residents after Brexit".
How to obtain UK resident status
EEA and Swiss nationals and their family members can already apply for EUSS status. You can do this on the UK government's official website.
Applicants must move to the UK by 31 December 2020. If they have lived in the country for more than 5 years, they can apply for permanent settlement status, or settled status. If they have lived in the country for less than 5 years, they can apply for provisional settlement status, or settled status.
Wealthy foreigners can obtain a British residence permit through the government’s investment programme. To do this, you must invest in government bonds of the country or shares of British companies from 2-3 months.
The UK government is also developing a new immigration policy. The law is currently before Parliament. If it is passed soon, the new policy will come into force from early 2021.
The changes involve a new procedure for assessing candidates for residence permit status in the UK. The Migration Service will use a point system that takes into account the profession, education, qualifications and age of the applicant. Citizenship will not be taken into account.
The government therefore expects to attract more wealthy foreigners to the country who will invest in the UK economy.