The EU settlement scheme is an application to allow EU nationals and the members of their family to get a settled status in the United Kingdom. There are two types – you will be granted a settled or pre-settled status under the EU settlement scheme, which means you can provide your right to continue living and working in the UK after the end of the transitional arrangements and the end of free movement for EU nationals. This means you won’t be at the risk of the post Brexit immigration control.
It is suggested that EU nationals and their family members conclude their applications for settled status immediately well before the deadline of 30 June 2021. Although registration under the EU Settlement Scheme is not compulsory, it is beneficial to apply for settled status or pre-settled status so that you retain the benefits of free movement without losing your EU citizenship.
Applying for the EU settlement scheme now can give you the peace of mind that all necessary documentation is sorted well before the deadline.
The last date for EU settlement applications to the scheme is from 31st January 2020 is the 30 June 2021.
Who Should Apply for an EU Settlement Scheme?
With limited exceptions, the groups listed below of people residing in the UK should apply under Settlement Scheme:
- EU and EFTA citizens
- Family members of EU and EFTA citizens who are not themselves EU and EFTA citizens
- EU and EFTA citizens and their family members should apply even if they:
- Were born in the UK and are not a British citizen
- Have a UK permanent residence document
- Are a family member of an EU or EFTA citizen who does not need to apply – including if they are from Ireland
- Have a British citizen family member
If you have indefinite leave to enter the UK or indefinite leave to remain in the UK or British or Irish
citizenship then you do not need to apply under the Settlement Scheme.
Can I apply for settled status?
You will be qualified for settled status under the scheme if you are an EU national or the family member of an EU national, who preceding to the application period on 31st December 2020, has been continuously living in the UK for no less than five years (absences of less than 6 months per year is acceptable). If you meet the criteria, you will be granted settled status under the EU settlement scheme, and the chance to remain in the UK indefinitely free of immigration control.
Should I apply through the new EU settlement scheme?
If you would like to remain living in the UK without immigration control on your case and are an EU national, or the family member of an EU national you should apply for settled status before 30th June 2021. The same relates to persons who are born in the UK but are not a British Citizen or are married to a British Citizen and are from the EU.
Can my family members join me under the settled status scheme?
Under the EU Settlement Scheme, current close family members who are living abroad can join you in the UK, providing that your relationship with that member existed on or before 31st December 2020.
In this case, a close family member refers to a spouse, civil partner, durable partner, as well as a dependent child, grandchild, parent or grandparent. This includes the child, grandchild, parent or grandparent of your spouse or civil partner.
How do I apply for the EU settlement Scheme and what do I need to provide proof of?
To apply to the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to complete an online application:
Verify your identity – If you have a lawful biometric passport or biometric residence card (supplied by the Home Office), then can use the EU Exit: ID Document Check app to verify your identity (this is currently accessible to download on Android devices, or from Apple store if you have iPhone 7 or newer)
If you do not have a biometric passport or a BRP card, and only have an EEA ID card, a ‘permanent residence’ or ‘residence document’ inside your passport, these would be accepted as proof of identity and nationality but you will not be able to use the app. In its place, you will need to use an online application form and arrange an appointment at a UK Visa & Citizenship Application Centre to deliver your biometric data.
Criminality check – You will need to do the criminality check by stating any criminal convictions. Only serious or insistent criminality will affect your application.
Verify your residence in the UK – You will need to provide evidence of your residence in the UK.
There are several ways you can do this, for example providing your National Insurance number, or a student status letter confirming the dates of your enrolment, attendance and completion.
Is there any risk that my application may be refused?
Any immigration application runs the risk of refusal. But legal advice from an independent provider like JMR solicitors can ensure you get your application right the first time so that you do not have to go through an appeals process.
If your application is refused, or, if you have been granted ‘pre-settled status’ when you think you are eligible for ‘settled status’, the easiest way to rectify that is to seek the advice of an immigrations solicitor who can review your application and make a new one for you.
What happens if I am under the age of 21 and I have a parent who already has ‘settled status’?
If you are under the age of 21, and you currently live in the UK, where one of your parents have been granted ‘settled status’ then you automatically get ‘settled status’ as well. You do not have to have lived in the UK for 5 years in this case.
What happens if I have a spouse/partner who already has ‘settled status’?
If your spouse or partner has already been granted ‘settled status’ under the EU Settlement Scheme, then you still need to apply for your own EU Settlement application, and within this, you can link your application to theirs with a reference number. A solicitor can help you do this. However, you do need to have lived in the UK for 5 consecutive years to qualify for a ‘settled status’ of your own.
Can Status Be Lost Once It Has Been Granted?
If you have a settled status, then you can be absent from the UK for any reason for a period of two or five (subject to approval by UK parliament) years without losing your status. can be absent from the UK for any reason
If you have a pre-settled status, then you can spend up to two continuous years outside the UK without losing your status but will need to maintain continuous residence over five years if you want to qualify for settled status
What About Irish Citizens?
The Home Office has said that Irish citizens enjoy a right of residence in the UK that is not reliant on the UK’s membership of the EU. Irish citizens will not, consequently, be asked to apply for status under the scheme (but can do if they wish), and their eligible family members (who are not Irish citizens or British citizens) will be able to gain status under the scheme without the Irish citizen doing so. JMR Solicitors can help you with your EU settlement scheme if you are an Irish citizen with members of the family who require a status under the EU settlement.