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Can EU citizens continue working in the UK post-Brexit?

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Although freedom of movement officially ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020, potentially yes.

If the worker isn’t sponsored by your business, the first question is, “Is the worker physically in the UK on 31 December 2020 and how long have they been in the UK?”

  • 5 years’ residency

    EU citizens who have resided in the UK lawfully for 5 years before 31 December 2020 can apply for settled status to stay in the UK indefinitely under the EU Settlement Scheme (even if they have permanent residence documents). Continuous residency means at least 6 months in any 12 month period, for 5 years in a row. These individuals do not require permission to work in the UK. They can:
    – Live in the UK
    – Access public funds and services and
    – Apply for British Citizenship

  • Less than 5 years’ residency

    Those who have less than 5 years’ residency in the UK by the 31 December 2020 can apply for pre-settled status until they get 5 years’ residency. They can then look to obtain settled status.

Note: they can continue to work while they wait for their application to be considered.

To ensure EU citizens have the right to work in the UK, up until 30 June 2021, the starting point is seeing their passport or national ID card.

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