EU Settlement Scheme and access to NHS healthcare

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was living in Scotland on, or before, 31 December 2020, you should have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) by 30 June 2021.

Irish citizens and people with indefinite leave to remain do not have to apply.

You can still apply after the deadline if you have reasonable grounds to do so.

You can find further information on the UK Government website.

The Scottish Government website has information about help and support available in Scotland.

EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who started to live in Scotland from 1 January 2021 are not eligible to apply through the EUSS. This is unless you’re applying as the family member of someone who has status under the EUSS. Otherwise you must apply under the UK Government’s immigration rules to live in Scotland.

Access to NHS treatment

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was living in Scotland on 31 December 2020 you can continue to use and receive NHS services on the same basis as UK citizens who live in Scotland.

Hospital or specialist treatment

NHS staff will not ask you to provide evidence of your status under the EUSS. They will not pursue charges for hospital or specialist treatment if you’re eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme but still need to make an application.

Registering with a GP practice

Everyone living in Scotland should register with a GP practice (family doctor). This will allow you to access:

  • general medical services
  • prescriptions
  • referrals for hospital treatment, when necessary

Further information on how to register with a GP practice

UK immigration law

You may no longer have a legal right to remain in the UK under immigration law if:

  • you have not already applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, and
  • do not have reasonable grounds to make a late application

Immigration law is managed by the UK Government rather than the Scottish Government.

NHS Scotland does not pass patient details to the Home Office for immigration control.

You should always seek NHS treatment if you need it.

Access to NHS treatment for joining family members

You can use NHS services if you’re applying to the EU Settlement Scheme as the joining family member of someone from the EU, EEA or Switzerland. Your family member must have been living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have status under the EUSS.

Hospital or specialist treatment

If you receive hospital or specialist treatment, NHS staff may ask you to provide evidence to show you are:

  • joining a family member who has applied, or will be applying, to the EUSS
  • resident in Scotland

Joining family members can receive hospital or specialist treatment at no charge. This is on the same basis as UK citizens who live in Scotland.

Registering with a GP practice

When you arrive in Scotland, you should register with a GP practice (family doctor). 

You should always seek NHS treatment if you need it.

Last updated:
18 January 2023