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When everyone has a home

028 9024 5640: Housing & Debt Helpline for Northern Ireland

Deadline for EU Settlement Scheme fast approaching

Picture of house surrounded by stars from EU flag

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) closes in just over 3 weeks. It is essential for any EU national, or anyone who is not a family member of an EU national, to apply for status under this scheme by 30 June 2021. Without such status, a person's right to live and work in the UK may end. 

Who needs to apply?

You should apply to the EUSS if

  • you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, or
  • you are a national of a country outside the EU but are a family member of an EU national, (this includes people who are family members of people born in Northern Ireland).

Children must also apply for status under the scheme. 

Irish citizens can apply to the scheme, but they do not have to. 

What happens after 30 June 2021?

From 1 July2021, an EU, EEA or Swiss national (and their family members are lawfully present in the UK if they :

  • have settled or pre-settled status under EUSS
  • applied to EUSS by 30 June 2021 and awaiting a decision and are protected by The Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
  • were granted permission to enter the UK to live, work or study after 31 December 2020

An EU, EEA or Swiss national (and their family members) will be in the country unlawfully if they

  • are waiting for a decision on their EUSS application but are not protected by The Citizens’ Rights (Application Deadline and Temporary Protection) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020
  • failed to apply to the EUSS by 30 June 2021 (even if they have been allowed to submit a late application)
  • have stayed in the UK after their leave to enter (or other status) has expired. 

Impact of the EUSS on housing rights

A person may be eligible for help with housing and homelessness and for benefits to help pay rent and other housing costs if they

  • have settled status under the EUSS, or
  • have pre-settled status under the EUSS as long as they are eligible for help under the old EU rules (these are complicated, but are largely based on a person's work history). 

If you have not applied to the EUSS by 30 June 2021:

  • your benefits may stop
  • you may have to leave temporary housing
  • you may be removed from the waiting list
  • you may not be eligible for a transfer to a different property. 

You cannot be evicted from an existing tenancy because you have not applied to the EUSS. 

Information and advice

Contact our helpline if you are concerned about your eligibility for housing or homelessness support or if you have been refused help to pay your rent because of your immigration status. 

There are a number of organisations who can assist people who are having difficulties with their EUSS applications, including

The NRPF Network has produced guidance for local authorities on supporting EEA nationals who are destitute or at risk of homelessness. This is a really helpful guide setting out the impact of the end of the transition period of the rights of EEA nationals and their family members.  It includes information on the support that should be available from social services where a person who has no recourse to public funds is at risk of homelessness and destitute. Although the document is based on English law, there are comparable provisions in Northern Ireland. Social Services may have a duty to assist if

  • there is a child welfare concern, or
  • the person is vulnerable as a result of something other than destitution. 

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This article was written on 8 June 2021. It should not be relied on as a statement of the current law or policy position. For help with housing issues please contact our helpline on 028 9024 5640 or use our online chat service at www.housingadviceNI.org.