EEA citizens and passports

Sep 18, 2020

With Brexit fast approaching and increasing focus from business and the media on the UK’s new Points-Based immigration system due to be introduced on January 1  2021, Migrate UK offers a summary of the main points on how these changes will affect EEA citizens and passports, especially with regards to visa applications.

With increasing attention from business and the media towards the UK's points-based immigration system due to come into effect on January 1 2021, Migrate UK offers a summary of the main points of the immediate changes for EU citizens and passports.

complied by Judit Adorjan

The skilled worker route will open from autumn 2020 for applicants who wish to work in the UK from 1 January 2021.

EU citizens living in the UK by 31 December 2020 are eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and must submit their applications by 30 June 2021.

Beyond 31 December 2020, EU citizens and non-visa nationals will not require a visa to enter the UK as visitors. However, they will not be able to apply from within the UK for a work visa.

Most EU citizens will be able to complete their application online. Non-EU citizens can continue to go to Visa Application centres (VACs) to enrol their biometrics.

When crossing the UK border, EU citizens can continue to use e-gates, but this policy will be kept under review. Other passport holders may need to see a Border Force officer.

Passports and national identity cards of EU citizens will continue be accepted by employers, landlords and public service providers as evidence of permission to live and work in the UK up until 30 June 2021. Non-EU citizens will continue to use their physical documentation.

Some EU citizens may choose to evidence their right to work using digital status obtained from the Home Office, instead of using their passport or ID card. This can be undertaken by using the Home Office online right to work checking service. When an applicant wishes to demonstrate their right to work through the online checking service, this will generate a share code which will be sent as a notification directly to the employer.

Employers have a duty not to discriminate against EU, EEA or Swiss citizens. EU citizens cannot be required to show the employer their status under the EU Settlement Scheme until after 30 June 2021.

If you have submitted a British passport application or need to renew your current passport expect long delays. Should you need to travel urgently you can track your application or contact the Passport Advice line.


EEA citizens and passports can seem complicated within the new points-based immigration rules. If you need advice on whether you are eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, to apply for British citizenship or for a British passport contact a member of our team.  Telephone 01235 841 568 or email

EU citizens and passports

Karen Kaur and Jonathan Beech – Immigration Lawyers