The EU settlement scheme enables citizens of EU member states, the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland, who have lived in the UK continuously for a period of five years, to apply for settled status to remain in the UK.
Those arriving in Britain prior to the end of 2020, can apply for ‘pre-settled’ status in view of applying for settled status once they hit the five-year criteria.
Due to Covid-19 it has been confirmed that it is taking longer than normal to process applications. Applicants have until 30 June 2021 to apply for either settled status or pre-settled status, however, many are applying or advising that it is best to apply by 31st December 2020 as this is currently the last day of the Brexit transitional period.
Who should apply?
- EU, EEA or Swiss Citizens;
- People who are not EU, EEA or Swiss Citizens but a family member is;
- Those born in the UK but are not a British Citizen;
- Anyone with a UK permanent residence document;
- If you are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen who does not need to apply;
- An EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British Citizen family member.
What you will get
Successful applications to the EU Settlement Scheme will be able to continue to live and work in the UK after 30th June 2021.
Successful Applicants will receive:
- Settled status;
- Pre-settled status.
Which status is received will depend on how long the applicant has been living in the UK for when the application is made.
Settled status will be granted if:
- Someone started living in the UK by 31st December 2020;
- Someone has lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period.
Five-years continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row someone has been living in the UK, Channel Islands or Isle of Man. The exceptions are:
- Compulsory military service;
- Time spent abroad as a crown servant;
- Time spent abroad in the armed forces or a family member of someone in the armed forces.
If settled status is granted, then that person will be able to stay in the UK as long as they wish.
For those that do not have 5-years’ continuous residence they will usually get pre-settled status, once the 5 years has been met, they can apply to have this changed to settled status, this must be done before the pre-settled status expires.
From the date someone is granted pre-settled status they can remain in the UK for a further 5 years.
Rights under settled or pre-settled status
- Work in the UK;
- Use the NHS for free, if they can currently;
- Enroll in education or continue to study;
- Access public funds such as pensions and benefits if eligible;
- Travel in and out of the UK.
Settled status allows someone to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK.
For Swiss Citizens this is only 4 years that can be spent outside the UK in a row.
Pre-settled status allows someone to spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK, however, to qualify for settled status they will need to remain a continuous resident to be able to apply.
All applications to apply to the EU settlement Scheme can be done online using a laptop, computer, iPhone, or Android device, or can be done via post. However, the digital photo required must be done via the online application for all applicants.
Documents must be sent in the post if they are:
- Non-EUL or EEA passports;
- Biometric residence permit;
- Non-biometric card.
Applicants will need proof of their identity and residence in the UK to be able to apply.
Proof of Identity will be a valid passport or national identity card; applicants will also have to provide a digital photo of their face.
Any non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizens will need either a valid passport, biometric residence card or biometric residence permit.
The online service is not available to be used to apply to the scheme if someone is applying as:
- Family member of a British Citizen lived with in Switzerland or an EU or EEA country;
- Family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and livid in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship;
- Primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss Citizen;
- Child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen that used to live and work in the UK and in education or a child’s primary carer.
Any of the above must contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre online to find out how they apply.