Advice for residents and businesses

The Royal Borough of Greenwich has a diverse population, around 15,000 of whom come from EU countries.

While there is a lot of uncertainty around Brexit, until we do leave then the rights of non-UK EU citizens and their family members to live and work in the UK remain the same.

We are working with a number of partners, including the NHS and emergency services, to ensure that the rights of our EU citizens and businesses are protected and to minimise the impact of a possible no-deal Brexit.


At present, non-UK EU citizens can live, work and access services, healthcare and benefits. As we approach Brexit, they will have to apply for new residence status, under the EU Settlement Scheme, which confirms that they live in the UK and have the right to do so. The scheme will allow them to apply to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021.

What it means:

  • EU citizens who have been resident in the UK for five years or more will be eligible for Settled Status. 
  • Those who have been resident for less than five years will be eligible for pre-Settled Status. They will be able to convert this to Settled Status after five years of residency.
  • EU residents who do not apply by June 2021 will technically have no legal basis to remain in the UK. The Home Office have not been clear on what the impact of this will be, but people could lose rights to access welfare benefits, support services and wider public funds.
  • The EU Settlement Scheme is fully open for applications in March 2019.
  • The deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal.
  • There will be no cost to applicants and fees will be refunded to those who have already applied.
  • UK permanent residents have the right to live permanently in the UK. Permanent residence refers to residence status and does not affect citizenship.

There are many other sources of information, advice and guidance, including:


It is still not clear how leaving the EU will affect EU nationals who own a business in the UK.

The Government has produced an employer’s toolkit with guidance to support EU citizens.

You can also get advice on what Brexit might mean to your business from: