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Legal changes

National identity cards will no longer be acceptable means for entry to the UK

Whilst the UK left the European Union (“EU”) on 31 December 2020, citizens from the EU and EEA, together with Swiss nationals have legally been able to continue to enter the UK using their national identity card. However, from the 1 October 2021 this will no longer guarantee entry to the UK for those citizens who will, in the alternative, be required to produce a passport valid for the entirety of their stay.

There are, of course, some exemptions (see below). Individuals from the EU, EEA and Swiss nationals who fulfill one of the exemption criteria may continue to use their national identity card to enter the UK.

Settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme has been granted

If an EU, EEA or Swiss national has been granted either pre-settled status or settled status they can continue to enter the UK by using their identity document linked to their online status.

An application is pending with the EU Settlement Scheme

If an application to the EU Settlement Scheme has been made for pre settled status or settled status but a decision is awaited, EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can continue to use their national identity card to enter the UK after 1 October 2021. This applies if the application was made to the EU Settlement Scheme prior to 30 June 2021 but a decision is awaited.

Healthcare Visitor

If an EU, EEA or Swiss national has been authorised to receive planned healthcare in the UK under the ‘S2 arrangement’ or is chaperoning an individual who has, they can, beyond 1 October 2021, continue to enter the UK by showing an EU, EEA or Swiss national ID card.

The individual has an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit

Again, like the other exceptions, if an EU, EEA or Swiss national has an EU Settlement Scheme Family Permit then a national identity card will suffice for them to enter the UK after 1 October 2021.

If you require assistance, our leading business immigration solicitors can help your business prepare so you are confident and fully compliant with the new immigration rules. 

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