BREXIT DEADLINE- So confused?!?

If I have a European passport but do not live in the United Kingdom – what is the last date that I can enter the UK before Brexit? I am confused? Is it June 2021 or December 2020?

What does Brexit mean for European citizens living in the United Kingdom today?

What does Brexit mean for British citizens and their European family members living inside Europe?

Brexit, in its primary conceptual foundation, should have meant the closing of all British borders to newcomers from the European Union. The idea was ideally conceptual interpreted that when Britain exits Europe they shall cease to “benefit” or “accept” the Basic Constitutional Act of Free Movement of all Europeans around the 28 European countries.

The Act was enacted through the Treaty of Rome – to create one large conglomerate of country states and allow any European national from any member state to enjoy the right to live and work legally in any zone of the 28 countries. No nationality should be discriminated from residency or employment after Free Movement was enacted. Article 45 TFEU (ex 39 and 48). 

However, after 30 years, the Brits have noticed that the pathway, in very general terms has turned into a one-way street – more Europeans are entering the UK with a rise of 6 million people in the past decade and less and less Brits are moving to live in Europe.

Since the concept is not working a roadblock must be put up – but this leads to the basic question – what happens to Europeans living in the UK today? Some have lived here since the entrance of the UK to the European Union decades ago.

The UK Home Office has created a concept called the “EU Settlement Scheme”. This scheme shall organize who stay in, who must leave and has been created in the most simplified manner so there should be no excuse that paperwork or bureaucracy caused an injustice.  


A deadline was created – it had to be created to cause Europeans and Brits to view the European Settlement scheme as a serious scheme.

Should a European resident miss that deadline, effectively he shall not be permitted to remain a resident in the UK for any longer after Brexit. He may actually be required to leave the UK. 

We can be sure that the law will allow for exceptional circumstances and “unforeseeable good reasons” but this should remain as an exception that the Secretary of State should have discretion over and not be considered the “norm”. The Home Office has given examples of “hospital admission” or even “family death”.

There are organizations who are campaigning to change the “application” scheme where one needs to be “accepted” and give a decision to a simple “registration” scheme. Once you have registered – you are then automatically registered in the system, a bit like registering to be an on-line member of Tesco or Asda Supermarket. 

However, The Home Office have decided to implement the EU Settlement scheme which is not automatic and is based on submission of an online or paper version application, evidence of UK employment, biometric details, UK residency and other evidence such as utility bills, passport and birth certificates. Upon submission, the case can be approved or denied and a decision will be made by the Home Office within around 6 months. The applicant and their family members all need to apply as separate individuals and the separate decisions and Residence cards will be sent out.

What is the current deadline date to register by? Depends – Deal or No Deal. 

Today if you are a European Union, EEA or Swiss citizen, and your family applies and is approved Settled or Pre settled status through the EU Settlement Scheme, your European family who are living in the UK today will continue to benefit from being allowed to continue to live in the UK after 31st June 2021.

The scheme is completely free and user-friendly to apply by using your phone, android, IPad or even going to a premium visa service center. It’s  also available in 26 languages. See

One important note is the issue of this deadline:

  • If Britain leaves the EU after elections in January 2020 – WITHOUT a deal with Europe, then you need to apply by 31st December 2020
  • BUT if Britain leaves the EU after elections in January 2020 – WITH a deal, the deadline to apply is 30th June 2021.


Should I apply for Settled or Pre-Settled – Again Confused? 

Depending on certain factors such as the number of years 

that, you have lived in the UK – you will be approved either “settled” or “pre-settled” status.

If you are approved “Settled status” – this means that you are on the path to permanent residency and British citizenship.

You are required to show five years of continuous residence in the UK before you can apply for Settled status.

Anything less than 5 years of proof of residency, you are required to apply for Pre Settled status. 

How Do I calculate the days? Months? Years that I lived in the UK? 

This leads one to have to calculate which scheme is right for them. Let us take the example of Michael,  who has lived in the UK for the past 3 years and 7 months (43 months) – He would only be eligible for pre-settled. However, after a quick calculation-  although he may wish to register up quickly to the Pre- SETTLED scheme, he may be wiser to wait a little longer until May 2021 and register up to the Settled Scheme with 60 months under his belt.

What is the danger here? Should the UK leave the EU without a deal in January 2020, the deadline to register will be brought forward to December 2020, so in Michael’s case he would miss the path to settled and pre-settled and may find himself without any immigration status at all and having to leave the United Kingdom. 

As one can see the scheme however simple, does have important life decision-making factor involved. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] for more information. © DRSI LAW

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