Our Guide to the New EU Settlement Scheme

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Our Guide to the New EU Settlement Scheme

The Home Office is reminding EU, EEA and Swiss citizens to make sure that they have applied for the EU Settlement Scheme. Following the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU), EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were already resident in the UK before 11pm GMT on 31st December 2020 must apply to continue living in the UK by 30 June 2021.

Who Is Eligible?

Only EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who had started living in the UK by 31st December 2020 may apply, as well as their family members. You need to apply even if you:

  • Were born in the UK but are not a British citizen,
  • Have a UK permanent residence document,
  • Are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply – including if they’re from Ireland,
  • Are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member.

You also may be able to apply if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but:

  • You used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK (but you’ve separated, they’ve died, or the family relationship has broken down),
  • You’re the family member of a British citizen and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together,
  • You’re the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship,
  • you have a family member who is an eligible person of Northern Ireland,
  • You’re the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen,
  • You’re the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, or the child’s primary carer.

You do not need to apply if you already have indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK, or if you have Irish citizenship.

How Does it Work?

The scheme will allow EU nationals to continue living and working in the UK if they were doing so before 31st December 2020. If the applicant has been living in the UK continuously for five years by the end of December 2020, then they will be granted settled status. If the applicant has been in the UK for less than five years, they will be granted “pre-settled” status and can stay in the UK for a further five years from the date that their status is granted, at which time they can acquire the right to permanent residency.

All successful applicants will have the same working rights in the UK as they have at present.

Applications are free and can be made online at GOV.UK.

Who Counts as a Family Member?

Family members are defined as:

  • Spouses and civil partners,
  • Unmarried partners in a relationship lasting at least 2 years which is akin to marriage,
  • Children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren under 21 years of age
  • Dependant children over the age of 21.
  • Dependant parents, grandparents or great-grandparents if they are able to provide supporting documents to prove your relationship.

A separate application must be made for every individual person who wishes to remain in the UK – a parent can apply on behalf of a child and link it to their own application as necessary.

Stella Maris Solicitors LLP pride ourselves on our expertise in immigration law; having had over a decade’s experience working in the area. If you want advice on immigration, immigration appeals or asylum applications do not hesitate to contact us via telephone on 01793 296118 or email mail@stellamarissolicitorsllp.co.uk.

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