Right to stay for EU citizens

Home Office urged to remove five year rule for settled status.

Migration Minister Ben Macpherson has called for the scrapping of a requirement that EU citizens live in the UK for five years before being eligible for settled status.

Mr Macpherson has written to Home Office Minister Brandon Lewis arguing the move will better protect the rights of EU citizens.

EU citizens who want to remain legally resident in the UK after Brexit have to apply through the UK Government’s EU Settlement Scheme.

But those who have lived in the UK for less than five years are eligible only for pre-settled status, which does not give them or their children a guaranteed permanent right to remain.

Mr Macpherson said:

“The Scottish Government has always been clear that EU citizens should not need to apply to maintain rights they already have and that the EU Settlement Scheme should be declarative.

“Removing the less secure pre-settled status would be a decisive action to secure the rights of all EU citizens in the UK and remove the requirement for some individuals to apply twice.

“It would also be a simple step towards mitigating possible discrimination based on status and reducing unnecessary bureaucracy for the UK Government, for those delivering front-line services and those who access them.”


Home Office statistics show 37% of EU citizens applying to stay in the UK have been granted pre-settled status.

Over the next 25 years all Scotland's population growth is projected to come from migration because of falling birth rates and an ageing population.

The independent Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population warned UK Government immigration plans could reduce migration by up to 50 per cent in Scotland.

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