EU Settlement Scheme
Anyone currently living in the UK who is an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen will have to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to be allowed to continue living and working in the UK from 30 June 2021.
Successful applicants will be given either settled or pre-settled status.
Information reference EU Settlement status has been translated into 26 EU Languages and can be found on the gov.uk website.
When can I apply?
The Settlement Scheme is now open. You can apply now, providing you meet the criteria.
What is the difference between settled and pre-settled status?
- Settled Status; EU nationals who have lived in the UK for five years by the end of 2020 will be granted settled status unless they have serious criminal convictions or there is a security reason why they can’t stay. During those five years, they need to have spent at least six months of each year in the UK. People who are granted settled status will only need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme once. Settled status will grant a person the same rights to healthcare, education, benefits and pensions as a British citizen. You will have the right to spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status, however if you’re a Swiss citizen this will be for 4 years.
- Pre-Settled Status; If somebody came into the UK before the 31st December 2020, they can be given pre-settled status. This will allow them to stay in the UK until they hit the five-year mark. Then, they will need to claim settled status. Individuals with pre-settled status have the right to spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing pre-settled status.
Details of the Registration Process;
- The new registration is digital
- Applicants will need to prove their identity (by uploading passport details) and prove they are residing in the UK. Applications are free of charge
- Workers do not need to apply if they have:
- indefinite leave to enter the UK
- indefinite leave to remain in the UK
- British or Irish citizenship (including ‘dual citizenship’)
- Adults will need to apply on behalf of their children, as children need to go through the process too
- EU Nationals who already have Permanent Residence will still need to register under the new system in order to maintain the ability to live and work in the UK
- EU citizens can apply for a settled or pre-settled status at the ‘test phase’, but they need to meet the following criteria, either: be a passport holder from the EU; or family member of someone from the EU and have a residence card with a biometric chip and ‘EU right to reside’ on the back
- When applying you can either scan your document and upload your photo using an iphone or Android phone or by sending the document in the post and uploading and uploading your photo using the online application
- It’s free to apply for the scheme
The system seems relatively straightforward to use and many checks will be done by the Home Office themselves behind the scenes – without requiring significant hard copies to be submitted by the applicant themselves.
How to Register and Apply; There are two steps to register:
- Download the application “EU Exit: ID document check” from Google Play or the the Apple App Store (This app is free of charge)
- Scan passport details page
- NFC software reads the chip
- Scan of the face (security feature)
- Take a photo – checking passport / BRP card belongs
Online: the registration process then continues on the gov.uk website.
- Confirm identity
- Confirm nationality and current immigration status
- Address; National Insurance Number
- Criminal/terrorism/war crimes declarations
- HMRC/DWP database checking: then immediate provisional indication of eligibility for either ‘settled status’ or ‘pre-settled status’
- Accept or challenge provisional decision within 28 days
Successful applicants will get digital proof of their status through an online service. Subject to the application checks, they will be granted settled or pre-settled status, depending on how long they have lived in the UK.
In most cases their new immigration status will be granted within a couple of weeks, however please note there are delays due to Covid.
Once the status is received, details will be provided on how to access it on GOV.UK. They will not get a physical document unless you are from outside the EU and do not already have a biometric residence card.
IMPORTANT – Deadlines
The rights and status of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021, to continue living and working in the UK after that date they will have to apply to the scheme BEFORE 30 June 2021