Updated December 2018
In preparation for the UK’s exit from the EU, Switzerland and the UK have reached an agreement on citizens’ rights. Every Swiss citizen and their family members looking to remain in the UK beyond December 2020 can apply for the new permanent residence permit, known as settled status.
The settled status scheme will open fully at the end of March 2019 and the deadline for applying will be 30 June 2021 (subject to there being a transition period). In order to be eligible for settled status, you’ll need to have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have lived here for a continuous 5-year period. If you’ve lived in the UK for less than 5 years, you’ll generally be eligible for ‘pre-settled status’ instead.
You’ll be able to complete the application form online, with support over the phone or in person if needed. Trial phases have shown the process to be quick and straightforward in the majority of cases. When you apply, you’ll need proof of your identity (valid passport or national identity card) and of your residence in the UK.
We appreciate that there is still a great deal of political uncertainty around how the coming months will unfold and the eventual Brexit outcome. That is precisely why in our discussions with the UK authorities, we ensured that the Swiss-UK agreement covers every possible scenario. In the unlikely event that there is a no-deal exit, the Swiss-UK agreement will apply from the date the UK ceases to be an EU Member State, 30 March 2019.
The Embassy of Switzerland is pleased to be able to bring you this reassuring news after what has been a period of uncertainty for Swiss citizens living here in the UK. The Embassy remains committed to seeking the smoothest and strongest possible relationship between Switzerland and the UK after Brexit, and is, as ever, ready to answer any further questions that you may have. More information is available in a comprehensive FAQ document on our website at the link below, which will be continuously updated as the remaining uncertainties are clarified. Your rights will be secured in any scenario.
Ambassador Fasel will soon take part in a Facebook LIVE broadcast to answer all of your questions and offer more detail on the agreement. Keep an eye on this page in the New Year when a date will be announced. Visit the Embassy's Facebook page to stay up to date: https://www.facebook.com/swissembassyuk/
The Embassy of Switzerland in the UK publishes a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) which covers many of the queries received so far from Swiss citizens regarding Brexit developments. The Embassy updates this list on a regular basis as relevant new information becomes available. For this reason, it is advised that Swiss citizens first consult this webpage, should any questions arise which may not have been answered before.
The Embassy updates the FAQs and Brexit-specific communications reqularly - visit the official pages here: https://www.dfae.admin.ch/countries/united-kingdom/en/home/representations/embassy-in-london/embassy-tasks/political-affairs/brexit-faq.html
The UK government has a website that provides an overview of the status of EU citizens in the UK.
More information can be found in the joint report by the UK and the EU and in the case studies the UK government published, giving examples of how individual EU citizen’s residence status in the UK will be affected by the UK’s exit from the EU.
Useful information can also be found in the FAQ section on the website of the European Commission.
If you would like to find out the latest information on citizens’ rights and the settled status, you can sign up to UK Home Office email updates here.
You can also view a video of the Swiss Ambassador in London's talk on Brexit here >. The Ambassador clarified Switzerland's negotiation strategy, the official position of the Swiss government in Switzerland's relations and treaties with the EU and UK, and explained what the new 'settled' status will mean and what the registration process will entail for those Swiss citizens who are resident in the UK.