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EU nationals staying in the UK and deportation from the UK due to a criminal record

As the deadline approaches for the UK to leave the EU, the government has introduced a compulsory scheme for all EU citizens living in the UK who wish to remain in the UK – referred to as the EU Settlement Scheme. It is expected that 3 million people will apply for ‘settled status’.

If your case is straightforward, your application could be dealt with in a matter of days. However, for those with a criminal record, the process may be more of a struggle.

We’ve just published two new information pages:

  1. EU nationals coming to and staying in the UK
  2. Deportation from the UK due to a criminal record

These pages set out:

  • Details about the free movement of EU nationals to the UK.
  • Some of the reasons why EU nationals may be refused entry to the UK.
  • The changes which will take place in the lead up to (and after) the UK leaves the EU, with a particular focus on those EU nationals currently living in the UK.
  • The process by which someone might be deported from the UK if they are convicted of a criminal offence, irrespective of your country of origin.

Given that further changes are likely after the UK leaves the EU, we will keep these pages updated.

The Home Secretary has promised that there will be no repeat of the Windrush scandal which has seen people who have lived in the UK for decades threatened with deportation because they did not have the right paperwork. However, if just 5% of the estimated 3 million EU citizens living in the UK don’t register by the deadline, there will be approximately 200,000 people without any status.

We have some concerns about the approach the government are taking in administering the new EU settlement scheme, in terms of if or how a past criminal record might have an impact. We’re keen to hear from anyone who has been, or is going through the process. Please email your details and the circumstances surrounding your situation to

We would also like to hear from you if you arrived in the UK between 1948 and 1971 and would not qualify for citizenship due to your having a criminal record. Please email your details and the circumstances surrounding your situation to


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Photo of Head of Advice, Debbie Sadler
Debbie Sadler
Head of Advice

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