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EU Settlement Scheme – the clock is ticking…

Holding settled or pre-settled status enables EU citizens and their family members to continue to live, work and study in the UK.

All EU citizens and their family members who were resident in the UK before 1 January 2021, and who can demonstrate this, can make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme for either settled status or pre-settled status.

Holding settled or pre-settled status enables EU citizens and their family members to continue to live, work and study in the UK. However, the closing date for applications is 30 June 2021 so time is running out. Failing to apply will leave an EU citizen undocumented and will affect rights to rent, to employment, and to state benefits and healthcare.

Settled status

Settled status is usually given to an applicant who has lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period. Once they have their status, an EU citizen can stay in the UK as long as they like, and apply for British citizenship if eligible.

Pre-settled status

EU citizens who have not lived the UK for the five years will usually be given pre-settled status. This means they can stay in the UK for a further five years, and then apply for settled status if they achieve five years of continuous residence.

Application process

The Home Office’s position is that its caseworkers will look for reasons to grant applications. Applicants may be refused for reasons of suitability; for example, if they are serious or persistent criminals or pose a security threat to the UK.

Applications are made online. An app is available to use for those who have access to a compatible device.

Those making an application through the app will be able to scan their identity documents and will be able to use their National Insurance number as evidence of their residency in the UK, with the Home Office then making relevant checks with HMRC and the DWP. Alternative evidence can be relied on if the applicant has not held a National Insurance number throughout the period of residence they wish to be taken into account.

If you employ EU citizens

If you are an employer, you should offer support and advice to your EU employees to ensure that they are aware of their eligibility to apply and can secure their position in the UK to continue working for your business.

Some common EU Settlement Scheme myths:

I am married to a British citizen so there is no need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme

Even if an EU citizen is married to a British citizen, they will need to apply to the EUSS for either pre-settled or settled status.

My children were born in the UK so I don’t need to make an application for them

Your British-born child may not automatically be a British citizen.

Your child is eligible for settled or pre-settled status if they are under 21 and either they are:

  • an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen; or
  • not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, but you are – or your spouse or civil partner is.

Children who hold British citizenship do not need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme. However, do not assume that children born in the UK are automatically British citizens.

If your child was born in the UK, but at the time of their birth neither parent was a British citizen or settled, then it is possible that your child does not have British citizenship.

I need to prove that I have been working since coming to the UK

It does not matter whether you are or have been working, self-employed, studying, claiming benefits or dependent on another person.  

If you need advice on the EU Settlement Scheme, contact our immigration solicitors.

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