Advice on how to obtain settled and pre-settled status
Important Dates for the EU Settlement Scheme
EU citizens and their families are able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme. This will enable them to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 (or the 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal).
It is thus important that EU citizens take note of the fact that if they want to continue living in the UK, they will have to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, by 30 June 2021. Alternatively, they have to apply for British Citizenship, by 30 June 2021.
Who needs to apply
All EU citizens and their family members will have to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before the given deadlines.
This includes EU citizens who are married to British citizens.
The exceptions are persons with the following status;
- British or Irish Citizenship or Dual Citizenship (British and another)
- Holders of Indefinite Leave to Enter the UK
- Holders of Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK
Pre-settled Status vs Settled Status
If you have been resident in the UK for five years in a row, you will be able to get Settled Status. During this five years you must have been in the UK for at least six months in any twelve month period. There are some exceptions that will be allowed, such as serious illness, study etc. Please speak to your consultant for more advice.
The new Settled Status will not be lost if you leave the UK for a period of up to five years. Note however that this period is still subject to approval by Parliament.
If you apply under the EU Settlement Scheme before you have obtained five years’ continuous residence in the UK, you will receive pre-settled status.
You will then have to apply again when you reach five years, to receive Settled Status. The settled status will allow you to stay in the UK permanently.
Indefinite Leave to Remain
If you have Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK, you can continue living in the UK without having to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme.
With Indefinite Leave to Remain, you will be able to live outside the UK for two years, without losing this status.
It will also be possible for a person with Indefinite Leave to Remain to apply for Settled Status, under the EU Settlement Scheme. This should allow the person to stay for five years outside the UK, without losing their settled status, compared to the two years on ILR. Note that this period is still subject to Parliamentary approval.
The Rights of Settled Status
Once an EU citizen receives settled status, they will be able to stay in the UK as long as they like. Other rights will include;
- They will be able to apply for British Citizenship if they are eligible.
- They will have no work restriction in the UK.
- Full use of the NHS.
- Enroll in education or study in the UK.
- Access to public funds, such as benefits and pensions, if they are eligible.
- Bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2020, if the relations with them began before this date, and they are still in a relationship when they apply to join. Should they not be able to fulfil this criteria, they can apply for a family visa.
- Children born in the UK will automatically be British Citizens.
A person will usually be able to apply for British Citizenship, twelve months after they got settled status unless they are married or are in a civil partnership with a British citizen.
What if there is a No Deal Brexit?
At this stage, everything is very unsure, and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit is possible.
In such a case EU nationals who arrive in the UK after 31 October 2019, and who intend to stay in the UK for more than three months will have to apply for Temporary Leave to Remain. Leave to remain will be granted for 36 months and will not lead to settlement in the UK. The Home Office stated that further information about this matter would be published in due time. You may not be eligible to apply if you are a serious or persistent offender.
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