EEA and Swiss citizens, and their family members, who have EU permanent residence or an EU registration card or certificate (this will usually be a blue or white paper card), must apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme ('EUSS'), as these documents will no longer be valid after 30 June 2021.
EEA and Swiss citizens with indefinite leave to remain granted under the old rules (this will usually be a vignette or stamp in their passport, or a letter from the Home Office) are not obliged to apply for status under the EUSS. However, doing so has advantages, because it makes it much easier to prove their right to enter, live, study or work in the UK, and to access the NHS and UK banking system for example.
From 31 December 2020 all EEA and Swiss citizens and their family members will be subject to immigration control and may be asked to prove their status.
Airlines, employers and financial institutions are increasingly reluctant to rely on a vignette or stamp as evidence of indefinite leave.
Lastly, indefinite leave to remain granted under the old rules lapses after the person spends two consecutive years outside of the UK.
Whereas Settled Status (confusingly also referred to as indefinite leave to remain) granted under the EUSS is lost after five consecutive years of absence from the UK.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.