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The UK left the European Union (EU) on 31 January 2020. This process is known as Brexit.

Brexit begins with a transition period that's likely to last until 31 December 2020. During this period, the UK is still following EU rules, and nationals of European Economic Area (EEA) countries and Switzerland have the same rights to live, work and study in the UK as they did before. The EEA includes all EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

We've produced advice on what Brexit means for people living in Scotland. We'll keep updating our advice as more Brexit changes are announced.

Staying in the UK after Brexit

If you're from the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland and living in the UK, and you wish to stay after 31 December 2020, you should apply to the EU Settlement Scheme. You'll need to apply to stay in the UK even if you already have a permanent residence document or have lived in the UK for a long time. 

See our advice on staying in the UK after Brexit and on keeping your family in the UK after Brexit.

EU Citizens Support Service

If you have any questions about the EU Settlement Scheme or need help applying, you can contact our free, confidential and impartial EU Citizens Support Service. You can call the service helpline on 0800 916 9847. It's open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Brexit and citizens' rights

You can find a series of factsheets about the rights of EU citizens in Scotland on the JustCitizens website. These factsheets cover citizens' rights to:

  • work
  • NHS healthcare
  • vote
  • study
  • benefits
  • housing.

The factsheets are available in English, Italian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian and Spanish.