Brexit – Frequently asked questions

Updated 14.9.2021

General 

There seems to be a lot of information available on Brexit. Where can I find the most relevant information?

You can find compiled information on Brexit on the website of the Finnish Prime Minister's Office. Read more here: Information about Brexit.(Link to another website.)  

Information on the citizens' rights in the Withdrawal Agreement can also be found on the European Commission’s website(Link to another website.).

EU Settlement Scheme (pre-settled and settled status)

I am a Finnish citizen permanently living in the UK. Should I apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to register my right to stay in the UK?

Almost all EU citizens residing in the UK before the withdrawal date, along with their family members, needed to apply for a new residence permit under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021. The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EU citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 1 January 2021.

Your residence in the UK could become unlawful without the new residence permit after 30 June 2021. For example, your employer, landlord or healthcare provider might asked to prove your immigration status. You can find more information on the Home Office’s publication: Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens(Link to another website.).

If you did not make an EUSS application by the deadline, 30 June 2020, please apply immediately. You have to have reasonable grounds to make a late application. Some groups have a later deadline to apply. You can fine more information on GOV.UK website(Link to another website.) and on EU Settlement Scheme: information for late applicants(Link to another website.) guidance. The application is free of charge. 

You can contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre for expert advice and assistance: 
tel. 0300 123 7379 (in the UK) or +44 203 080 0010 (outside the UK).
Monday to Friday 8.00–20.00, Saturday and Sunday 9.30–16.30
Contact form(Link to another website.) 

For the contact details of official and registered Immigration Advisers, please go to Find an Immigration Adviser(Link to another website.).

Here you can find the EU Delegation’s list of free support available for EU citizens(Link to another website.)answers to frequently asked questions(Link to another website.), and information leaflets about EU Settlement Scheme:

I have a pre-settled status. How can I stay in the UK permanently?

You must make a separate application for settle status before your pre-settled status expires. You can apply as soon you have lived in the UK for five continuous years.  You can find more information on the Home Office’s publication: Information for EU Settlement Scheme applicants.(Link to another website.)

Pre-settled status holders should pay attention to absence rules, as unpermitted absences might result in your settled status application being refused later on. You can read more about absence rules and the continuous qualifying period on the EU Delegation’s website(Link to another website.) and the Mayor of London’s website.(Link to another website.)
 

Do I have to apply for the settled status even if I have lived in the UK for decades and I have ILR – Indefinite Leave to Remain or ILE – Indefinite Leave to Enter? 

Even though you have an older status, such as the Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) or the Indefinite Leave to Enter (ILE), it is still helpful to apply for a settled status under the EUSS to better ensure your rights. The new digital status will also make it easier for you to prove your immigration status.

The application period ended on 30 June 2021, but you can still make a late application, if you have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline. For example, if an ILE holder did not know that they could make an EUSS application, it might be considered as reasonable grounds. The application is completely free of charge. You can also search for support services near you by entering your postcode on GOV.UK: Get help applying to the EU Settlement Scheme(Link to another website.).

If you decide not to apply for settled status under the EUSS, please make sure that your Indefinite Leave to Remain is still valid today and has not been lost or has lapsed because of spending a long time outside of the UK. If you are not sure whether you hold valid Indefinite Leave to Remain or are worried about losing your proof of this status, the best option is to submit an application.

You can find more information on the leaflet published by the EU Delegation: Brexit: What do you need to know as a senior EU citizen living in the UK.(Link to another website.)
 

Do children under 18 also have to apply for Settled Status?

Yes. Each child must have their own application. The parents can apply for their child or they can apply for themselves.

If your child has been born in the UK but they are not a UK citizen, they have to make an EUSS application. If you are unsure, whether your child is a British citizen, please see the guidance on GOV.UK website: Check if you're a British citizen(Link to another website.).

The application period ended on 30 June 2021, but you can still make an application for your child. You can find more information on the GOV.UK website(Link to another website.).

If your child was born on 1 April 2021 or after, you must make an EUSS application within three months from date of birth. You can find more information on the Home Office’s publication: EU Settlement Scheme: information for late applicants(Link to another website.). If you are unable to get your child a passport or an ID card within three months of birth, contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre(Link to another website.).

You can also find more information on the leaflet for parents published by the EU Delegation: Brexit: What you need to know if your child is an EU citizen or if your child is not an EU citizen but you are(Link to another website.).

 

I have applied for pre-settled or settled status before the EUSS application period ended, but I have not received a decision yet. How can I prove my rights?

If you made your EUSS application before the application period ended on 30 June 2021, your rights will continue without interruption. You can use your Certificate of Application to prove your rights, for example, to your employer, landlord or to border officials when returning to the UK from abroad. You can find more information on the Home Office’s publication: Information for EU Settlement Scheme applicants.(Link to another website.) 
 

I have pre-settled or settled status. My personal details have changed or I have a new passport or a national ID card. What do I need to do?

Remember to update any changes to your personal information, such as the details of a new passport, new home address or changed name, to your UK Visas and Immigration(Link to another website.) account. If you made your EUSS application with your passport, but are planning on using you  national ID card to travel, or vice versa, add the details of your other travel document to your account before your trip. You can add several travel documents to your account. Up-to-date personal information makes the border check quicker when returning to the UK. You can find more information on the Home Office’s publication Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens(Link to another website.).
 

I have pre-settled or settled status. I’m going to travel abroad. What should I take into account?

Settled status holders can be absent from the UK up to five years without losing their status. Pre-settled status holders should pay attention to absence rules, as unpermitted absences might result in your settled status application being refused later on. You can read more about absence rules and the continuous qualifying period on the EU Delegation’s website(Link to another website.) and the Mayor of London’s website.(Link to another website.)

You might be asked to prove your immigration status when you return to the UK. Remember to update any changes to your personal information, such as the details of a new passport, new home address or changed name, to your UK Visas and Immigration(Link to another website.) account. If you made your EUSS application with your passport, but are planning on using your  national ID card to travel, or vice versa, add the details of your other travel document to your account before your trip. You can add several travel documents to your account. Up-to-date personal information makes the border check quicker when returning to the UK. You can find more information on the Home Office’s publication Your immigration status: an introduction for EU, EEA and Swiss citizens(Link to another website.)
 

I have pre-settled or settled status. I have been absent from the UK for long periods due to the coronavirus pandemic. What should I take into account?

Settled status holders can be absent from the UK up to five years without losing their status. Pre-settled status holders should pay attention to absence rules, as unpermitted absences might result in your settled status application being refused later on. In general, EU citizens with pre-settled status can absent from the UK up to six months (one long absence or several shorter ones) during any 12-month period. There are limited exceptions to this rule. You can read more about absence rules and the continuous qualifying period on the EU Delegation’s website(Link to another website.) and the Mayor of London’s website.(Link to another website.)

The Home office has published a separate guidance(Link to another website.) on the absences caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Longer absences related to the coronavirus situation might be allowed, but please read the guidance carefully.

If you are unsure, whether your situation makes you eligible for an extended absence please contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre:
tel. 0300 123 7379 (in the UK) or +44 203 080 0010 (outside the UK).
Monday to Friday 8.00–20.00, Saturday and Sunday 9.30–16.30
Contact form(Link to another website.)
 

I have pre-settled or settled status. Can I bring a family member to the UK?

You can find more information on the GOV.UK website(Link to another website.) on how EUSS status holder can bring their family members to the UK. EU Delegation has also published a leaflet on the topic: Brexit: EU citizens with pre-settled or settled status: how your close family members can apply to join you in the UK(Link to another website.).

 

Working and moving to the UK after 1 January 2021

I am a Finnish citizen about to move to the UK. What should I take into account regarding the UK’s exit from the EU?

The free movement of EU citizens to the UK has ended. This means that the entry to the UK and the rights of Finns arriving after 1 January 2021 are more limited than before. Travellers can visit the UK up to six months visa-free, but working in the UK requires a visa in most cases, short-term work included. You can find a list of permitted activities as a visitor on GOV.UK website(Link to another website.) and you can use this tool(Link to another website.) to check if you need a visa. For the rules for entering the UK, please go to Gov.uk: Entering the UK.(Link to another website.)

The UK has introduced a new point-based immigration system from 1 January 2021. More information about the new immigration system: The UK’s point-based immigration system: information for EU citizens.(Link to another website.) Most visa routes, such as the Student visa,(Link to another website.)  Skilled Worker visa(Link to another website.), and the Graduate visa(Link to another website.) meant for those who have completed a university degree in the UK, are open for applications.

At the moment, it is not possible for EU citizens to come to the UK as au pairs or take up most traineeships, unless they have pre-existing status under the EUSS.

When travelling or moving abroad, please always read the travel advice for your destination and ensure that your travel documents are valid. Also, please submit a travel notification and make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance. Read more: Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Entering Finland and travelling abroad(Link to another website.)

Healthcare, social security and benefits

I am a Finnish citizen who has moved to the UK before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. I am covered by the UK social security system. How can I access healthcare when travelling to EU countries, for example Finland?

If you are a Finnish citizen and have moved to the UK before the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). The card is free of charge. You can find more information on the National Health Service’s (NHS) website(Link to another website.). There is no deadline on applications, but you should apply for your new EHIC ahead of your next trip. You can also use your old EHIC until the expiry date on the card, but it will no longer be valid in Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland.

The new EHIC provides the same entitlements as the old card. The new EHIC will also cover medically necessary treatment when visiting Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland from 1 January 2021 onwards, unlike the old UK-issued EHICs and the new UK Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC). However, please note that the new EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

You might have to prove your eligibility for the new EHIC, for example with pre-Settled or settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme. Dual nationals and those EU citizens who do not require EUSS status will be able to provide other evidence that they are eligible.

If your new EHIC does not arrive before your trip, but you are eligible for it, you can obtain a Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC). You cannot request a PRC before your trip, as it can only be requested at the point of requiring care. Please contact NHS Business Services Authority on +44 191 218 1999 should you require a PRC. 
 

How does Brexit affect the access to healthcare when travelling to the UK?

If you are staying in the UK temporarily, you cans still prove your right to medically necessary care by presenting a European Health Insurance Card issued in Finland or a certificate provisionally replacing the Card.

Further information:
Kela: Information about Brexit(Link to another website.)
Kela: European Health Insurance Card(Link to another website.)
UK Government: Healthcare for visitors to the UK from the EU from 1 January 2021(Link to another website.)

When travelling abroad, always remember to take a comprehensive travel insurance, familiarise yourself with the travel recommendation for your destination country, check the validity of your travel document and make a travel notification at matkustusilmoitus.fi(Link to another website.).
 

I am a Finnish citizen and receive pension from Finland. I am about to move to the UK. Will I receive my Finnish pension in the UK?

Please contact the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) to see if you are entitled to the Finnish social security, old-age pension or disability pension. For Kela’s information and contact details, please go to Kela: International situations.(Link to another website.) Read more: Kela: Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela(Link to another website.).

Regarding Finnish earnings-related pensions, contact the Finnish Centre for Pensions. For the Centre’s contact details, go to Contact information(Link to another website.). Read more: Finnish Centre for Pensions: Brexit would affect our services. (Link to another website.)

Studying 

I am a Finnish citizen and I began my studies in the UK before 1 January 2021. What should I do to continue my studies?

Almost all EU citizens residing in the UK before the withdrawal date, along with their family members, needed to apply for a new residence permit under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021. The EU Settlement Scheme applies to EU citizens and their family members who arrived in the UK before 1 January 2021.

Your residence in the UK could become unlawful without the new residence permit after 30 June 2021. If you did not make an EUSS application by the deadline, please apply immediately. You have to have reasonable grounds to make a late application. You can fine more information on GOV.UK website(Link to another website.) and on EU Settlement Scheme: information for late applicants(Link to another website.) guidance. The application is free of charge. 

Students, who have began their studies during academic year 2020/21 or earlier have a right to finish their degrees with existing term fees and student loan terms(Link to another website.).

Please contact the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) to see if you are entitled to the Finnish social security, old-age pension or disability pension. For Kela’s information and contact details, please go to Kela: International situations.(Link to another website.) Read more: Kela: Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela(Link to another website.)
 

I am a Finnish citizen studying in the UK. I have returned to Finland due to the coranavirus pandemic to study online. How does this affect my pre-setteld status?

Pre-settled status holders should pay attention to absence rules, as unpermitted absences might result in your settled status application being refused later on. In general, EU citizens with pre-settled status can absent from the UK up to six months (one long absence or several shorter ones) during any 12-month period. There are limited exceptions to this rule. You can read more about absence rules and the continuous qualifying period on the EU Delegation’s website(Link to another website.) and the Mayor of London’s website.(Link to another website.)

The Home office has published a separate guidance(Link to another website.) on the absences caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Online studies abroad due the coronavirus pandemic might be accepted as a sufficient reason for a longer absence, but please read the guidance carefully.

If you are unsure, whether your situation makes you eligible for an extended absence, please contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre: 
tel. 0300 123 7379 (in the UK) or +44 203 080 0010 (outside the UK).
Monday to Friday 8.00–20.00, Saturday and Sunday 9.30–16.30
Contact form(Link to another website.)

Please note that if you began your studies entirely online due to the coronavirus pandemic during the autumn term 2020, you would have needed move to the UK by 31 December 2020 to be eligible to apply for an EUSS status. If you move to the UK later on, you must apply for a student visa(Link to another website.) under the new point-based immigration system.
 

How does Brexit affect students’ right to access healthcare?

Students from EU countries, who have moved to the UK and started their studies by 31 December 2020, can use the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access the NHS until the end of their course, as long as they have a status under the EUSS. You can read more on GOV.UK website(Link to another website.).

Students from EU countries, who are moving to the UK the after the end of the transition period, from 1 January 2021 onwards, must apply for a Student visa(Link to another website.) and pay the immigration healthcare surcharge(Link to another website.) as part of their visa application. However, students might be eligible to apply for a health surcharge reimbursement in some cases(Link to another website.). If your course of study is less than 6 months and you have a valid EHIC, you do not need to pay the immigration health surcharge to access medically necessary treatment during your stay in the UK.
 

I live in the UK and I have pre-settled or settled status. Am I still entitled to the lower university fees like British students?

Finns living in the UK, who have a status under the EUSS, might still be entitled to lower university fees (home student), if they meet the other conditions. Please read the new rules carefully and also check your eligibility directly from your university.

For example, UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) has compiled a comprehensive information package(Link to another website.) on student fees after Brexit.
 

I am a Finnish citizen planning to start my studies in the UK in autumn 2021 or later. What are the things I should take into consideration?

At the end of the transitional period on 31 December 2020, the free movement of EU citizens to the UK has ended and restrictions have been put to place on the entry and rights of EU citizens arriving in the country. From then on, the provisions on third-country nationals will be applied on entry. The UK has introduced a new point-based immigration system from 1 January 2021. You can find more information about the new immigration system here(Link to another website.)

Students who are starting their degree now will need a Student visa. Please find more information about the Student visa(Link to another website.) and an information brochure for EU citizens(Link to another website.) on GOV.UK website. Students at British universities can also apply for the new Graduate visa(Link to another website.) after they have completed their degrees.

Students from EU countries, who are starting their university studies now, need to pay higher fees than the local British students. The same higher fees apply to all foreign students. However, EUSS status holders might be still entitled to lower fees (home student). For example, UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) has compiled a comprehensive information package(Link to another website.) on student fees after Brexit.

For more information on higher education, go to the website of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service: UCAS(Link to another website.) and UKCISA(Link to another website.) (UK Council for International Student Affairs. On the website of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela), you can find more information on how Brexit affects student support and other benefits: Information about Brexit and what it means for the social security benefits available from Kela(Link to another website.)

Travelling 

I am a Finnish citizen and about to travel to the UK. How long does my passport or national ID card have to be valid and do I need a visa?

The free movement of EU citizens to the UK has ended. This means that the entry to the UK and the rights of Finns arriving after 1 January 2021 are more limited than before. Travellers can visit the UK up to six months visa-free, but working in the UK requires a visa in most cases, short-term work included. You can find a list of permitted activities as a visitor on GOV.UK website(Link to another website.) and you can use this tool(Link to another website.) to check if you need a visa. For the rules for entering the UK, please go to Gov.uk:(Link to another website.)(Link to another website.) Entering the UK(Link to another website.)(Link to another website.).

When travelling to the UK, your Finnish passport or ID card has to be valid for the duration of your trip. You will not be able to use your national ID card to enter the UK from 1 October 2021 and will need a passport instead. EU citizens with a status under the EUSS and frontier workers are exempt and can continue using their national ID card for travelling at least until 31 December 2025.

For more information about travelling to the UK after 1 January 2021, please see Visiting the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen (Link to another website.)and The UK's points-based immigration system:  An introduction for EU visitors(Link to another website.).

When travelling or moving abroad, please always read the travel advice for your destination and ensure that your travel documents are valid. Also, please submit a travel notification and make sure that you have a comprehensive travel insurance. Read more: Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Entering Finland and travelling abroad(Link to another website.)
 

I am a citizen of a third country and a family member an EU citizen. I have a residence permit under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme. Do I need a visa when I travel to Finland?

A residence status document under the UK’s new EU Settlement Scheme does not entitle family members of an EU citizen who are not EU citizens themselves to visa-free travel in the EU countries.

You must apply for a visa when travelling to Finland, if:

  • you are a family member of an EU citizen but you are not an EU citizen yourself;
  • you have a visa requirement when travelling to the EU, and
  • you only hold a residence permit document under the UK’s EU Settlement Scheme. 
     

I am travelling between EU and the UK with my pet. What should I take into account?

Before travelling, please refer to Finnish Food Authority’s website(Link to another website.)(Link to another website.) and the Finnish Custom’s website: Travelling with your pet(Link to another website.)(Link to another website.). The UK-based pet passport will no longer be valid after 1 January 2021 in the European Union. Pets imported from the UK to the EU will be required a health certificate similar to other third countries. You can find information for travelling to UK after 1 January 2020 on GOV.UK website.(Link to another website.)

Driving licences 

Can I use my Finnish driving licence in the UK?

For information on the validity of foreign driving licences in the UK, contact the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency): Gov.uk: Driving in the UK and abroad (Link to another website.) and Gov.uk: Contact DVLA(Link to another website.)
 

I am a Finnish citizen but I have a UK driving licence. Can I exchange my UK licence for a Finnish one when I move back to Finland?

For information on the validity of foreign driving licences in Finland and on exchanging a foreign licence for a Finnish one, visit the Traficom website: 


Citizenship and returning to Finland

I am a Finnish citizen who has been residing permanently in the UK for many years. Can I get UK citizenship?

For information on the requirements for acquiring UK citizenship and the application process, please contact the UK authorities. More information: Gov.uk: Become a British citizen.(Link to another website.)
 

Will I lose my Finnish citizenship if I get UK citizenship?

No, you will not lose your Finnish citizenship. The Finnish Nationality Act allows dual and multiple citizenship. A new Nationality Act with less stringent requirements for dual citizenship entered into force on 1 June 2003.

However, it is important to remember that a Finnish citizen who also holds the citizenship of a foreign state can lose their Finnish citizenship automatically at the age of 22 years if the individual does not have a sufficient connection to Finland. An individual can retain their Finnish citizenship if they are deemed to have a sufficient connection to Finland. A sufficient connection to Finland can be demonstrated by e.g. applying for a passport or providing notice in writing of their wish to retain their Finnish citizenship.

Maintaining accurate citizenship information in the population register is the responsibility of the individual, and changes in citizenship information must be registered in the population register.

See the website(Link to another website.) of the Finnish Immigration Service for more information.  
 

I have lost my Finnish citizenship. Can I get my Finnish citizenship back?

Yes. If you are a former Finnish citizen, you can acquire Finnish citizenship by declaration. An underage child in your custody will also receive Finnish citizenship if they are included as a co-applicant in your declaration.

However, it is not possible to acquire citizenship by declaration based only on the fact that you are a descendant of a former Finnish citizen. If you would like to find out whether you are a current or former Finnish citizen, you can ask the Finnish Immigration Service to determine your citizenship status.

See the website(Link to another website.) of the Finnish Immigration Service for more information.  
 

How can I find out if I am eligible for Finnish citizenship based on family relations?

You can ask the Finnish Immigration Service to determine your citizenship status. Citizenship status refers to a person’s current and previous citizenship, statelessness and unknown citizenship.

See the website(Link to another website.) of the Finnish Immigration Service for more information.  
 

I am a Finnish citizen who has lived for X years in the UK. I would like to move back to Finland. What do I have to do?

A Finnish citizen who has lived abroad can return freely to their home country. Upon returning to Finland, you must submit a notification of move to the Digital and Population Data Services Agency. Kela will decide at what point you will be covered by the Finnish social security system after your return.

More information: The Digital and Population Data Services Agency: Notification of move(Link to another website.) and Kela: International situations(Link to another website.).

 

Businesses 

Where do I find more information about Brexit and how it might affect businesses?

Although the EU and the UK concluded negotiations on a Trade and Cooperation Agreement on 24 December 2020, many things will change. Businesses need to adapt to the new situation.

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement is comprehensive and it provides, among other things, duty-free and quota free access to the markets of the Parties for certain products, provided that the rules of origin are met. At the same time, the EU and the UK separated into two different regulatory, judicial and customs areas from 1 January 2021- Changes are expected, for example, in taxation, customs procedures and labour mobility.

You can find more information on Brexit via the links below. More specific information on sectors and products is available on the websites of the European Commission and the British Government:

Our Team Finland network is happy to help with questions related to Brexit.

We are happy to answer any other questions you may have. You can find our Embassy’s contact details here. 

 

British citizens moving or travelling to Finland

I am a UK citizen permanently living in Finland. Should I register my right to stay in Finland?

The Finnish Immigration Service advises UK citizens who live permanently in Finland to register their right of residence in Finland as soon as possible, if they have not done so already. Instructions for registration and further information: Finnish Immigration Service: Brexit.(Link to another website.)

All UK citizens must apply for the new status under the Brexit agreement – also if you have a certificate of right of permanent residence for an EU citizen. Read more: Finnish Immigration Service: If you are a UK citizen, you must apply for the permanent right of residence referred to in the Brexit agreement even if you have a permanent right of residence for an EU citizen(Link to another website.).
 

I am a UK citizen and about to travel to Finland. How long does my passport have to be valid and do I need a visa?

According to the current information, UK citizens can travel visa free to EU countries for 90 days within 180-day period. Finland does not require UK citizens to obtain a visa when travelling for business.

You can travel to Finland if you have a passport, which is valid for the duration of your stay in the country.

Read more about the travel documents approved by Finland: Visa requirements and travel documents accepted by Finland.(Link to another website.)
 

I am a UK citizen. Can I get Finnish citizenship?

Finnish citizenship can generally be acquired based on birth, by either declaration or application. More information about registering a child born abroad and making a declaration of citizenship is available on the Finnish Embassy’s website: Citizenship. For information on applying for citizenship, visit the website of the Finnish Immigration Service: Finnish citizenship(Link to another website.).

Other questions

I live in the UK. After the UK's withdrawal from the EU, my Finnish bank does not grant me a new card/loan/service. Why? What can I do?

After UK’s withdrawal from the European Union, it is no longer a part of the EU's Single Market. For banking services, this means that Finnish banks and other financial operators in the UK are subject to UK legislation. Each bank decides for itself which services it offers outside the EU and different banks may have different practices. Please contact your bank directly to check which services they continue to provide to the UK.