What is the impact of Brexit on EU nationals already working in the UK before the end of the transition period?
The UK left the EU on 31 January 2020 and a transition period was in place until 31 December 2020. EU nationals residing in the UK before 31 December 2020 have been able to apply under the EU settlement scheme, either for settled status or pre-settled status. The scheme also applies to nationals of the other European Economic Area (EEA) countries (Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein) and Swiss nationals. Irish nationals are not required to obtain settled or pre-settled status.
An EEA or Swiss national who was in the UK by 31 December 2020 is eligible for settled status when they have been resident for five years. This gives them the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely. Those with less than five years' continuous residence at the time of the application can obtain pre-settled status, giving them the right to remain until they reach the five-year mark, at which point they can apply for settled status.
The deadline for applications under the settlement scheme was 30 June 2021.
Late applications are allowed where the applicant has reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. EEA or Swiss national employees may lose the right to work in the UK if they do not make an application under the scheme. See What should an employer do if it becomes aware that an EEA national employee does not have settled or pre-settled status?