New immigration system: what you need to know:

The UK is introducing a points-based immigration system from 2021.

On 13 July 2020, the government set out further details on the UK’s points-based system. These new arrangements will take effect from 1 January 2021, once freedom of movement with the European Union (EU) has ended.

It will treat EU and non-EU citizens equally and aims to attract people who can contribute to the UK’s economy. Irish citizens will continue to be able to enter and live in the UK as they do now. For more information visit

Staying in the UK after Brexit:

You usually need to apply to stay in the UK if you’re from:

  • a country in the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
  • another country and you have a family :member who is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland

The EEA includes EU countries and Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein.

Keeping your family in the UK after Brexit:

If you’re from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland every member of your family should apply to stay in the UK after Brexit. This includes your family members who are citizens of countries outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland.

To apply for ‘pre-settled’ or ‘settled status’, your family members need to be in the UK by 31 December 2020.

If they aren’t in the UK by that date, they can only join you if both:

  • you have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme
  • your relationship began before 31 December 2020 (or before 31 December 2025 for family members of Swiss citizens)

Bringing citizens of countries outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland:

If your family members are citizens of countries outside the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they should apply for a family permit to enter the UK.

They need to be outside the UK to apply. The permit is free to apply for and will be valid for 6 months.

They might be eligible for an:

  • EEA family permit
  • EU Settlement Scheme family permit

If your family member applies for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit, they must include English translations of any documents that are in another language.

Once they are in the UK, your family members need to apply for pre-settled or settled status before their family permit expires.

If their family permit expires before they get a status, they can use their certificate of application to prove their right to live, work and study in the UK. The government will send them the certificate after they submit their application for a status.

The above information is a brief overview only.

For more detailed information on all matters relating to immigration please check out the links below:

Published 25/08/2021