• Insights

Applying under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme from abroad

United Kingdom
Written by
Lewis Silkin, widely recognised as the UK’s leading specialist employment law practice.
This article outlines how EU nationals can apply to live and work in the EU under the UK's EU Settlement Scheme.

EEA/Swiss citizens and their family members who are living outside the UK temporarily should be reminded that they can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme without having to return to the UK.

Eligibility to apply from abroad has not been well-publicised, however the Home Office has confirmed that applicants must use the EU Exit ID Document Check App in all cases if applying from abroad. This can be downloaded from the Google Play or Apple App Store within the EEA and can then be used anywhere in the world. Individuals who cannot download the app because they are outside the EEA should seek advice on their options on a case-by-case basis.

All applicants must also prove their identity (and relationship in the case of family members), show that they have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and declare any criminal convictions.

EEA/Swiss citizens must verify their identity using a national passport or identity card containing a biometric chip. Non-EEA/Swiss family members must use their UK residence card containing a biometric chip.

Where the app fails to scan an identity document correctly, an EEA/Swiss applicant is allowed to post their identity document to the Home Office in the UK for verification, provided their national government does allows the document to be posted across international borders. Non-EEA applicants should seek advice from the EU Settlement Resolution Centre and should not post their document to the Home Office in the UK.


Andrew Osborne
Partner - United Kingdom
Lewis Silkin