The EU Settlement Scheme as of January 2021 in the UK following the Brexit agreement
EU SETTLEMENT SCHEME – GENERAL INFORMATION
In light of the changes, in the UK immigration rules, as of January 2021, EU citizens will have to secure Settlement Status. Depending on the length of their UK residence to-date they will either be granted a settled or a pre-settled status.
Eligible to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you are:
- from the EU, European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland
- a family member of someone from the EU, EEA or Switzerland
The EEA includes EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
You cannot apply to help your family stay in the UK if you were born with both British and Irish nationality – for example, if you were born in Northern Ireland.
You do not need to be in the UK to apply. But you need to move to the UK before 31 of December 2020.
> In the case that the applicant has lived in the UK for less than 5 years
They will be applying for the pre-settled status. They only need to prove they have lived in the UK for 1 day in the last 6 months to get it thus, they can apply for pre-settled status as long as they move to the UK before 31 of December 2020 as mentioned above. In addition, if they get pre-settled status, they can live and work in the UK for up to 5 years. After that, they should apply for settled status to stay for longer before their pre-settled status expires.
They can spend up to 2 years outside the UK without losing their pre-settled status. But, if they want to apply for settled status later, they need to
- have lived in the UK for 5 years in a row
- prove that they lived in the UK for 6 months out of every 12 months during those 5 years. The 5 years can include time before they got pre-settled status.
> In the case that they have lived in the UK for 5 years or more
They will be applying for the EU Settlement Scheme for settled status
If you get settled status, you can:
- live and work in the UK for as long as they like
- live outside the UK for up to 5 years in a row without losing your status – 4 years if you’re Swiss
- bring your family to live in the UK
REQUIRED TO APPLY
- an identity document – passport, national identity card, biometric residence card or permit
- a digital photo – they can take a selfie during the application (explained below)
- National Insurance number or proof of how long they have lived in the UK
- a mobile phone number
- an email address
- proof of relationship if they are applying for a child or another family member (application reference number – this will be explained further below)
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It is a two-step application type. In the first one they verify their ID. It is easier if the identity document used, has a biometric chip. This way it will not have to be sent to the Home Office. In the case that the identification document does not have a biometric chip the first part of the application must be made through the Home Office.
The “EU exit document app ” must be downloaded. The applicant shall first scan their passport details page and subsequently input their personal contact details : an e-mail address and a mobile number to which an automated 6-digit pin number will be sent and will be used to “unlock” the next step.
The applicant will have to scan their passport’s biometric chip which is at the bottom of the front page of their passport and subsequently their face. The first step is completed with them, taking a photo of their face as well.
Regarding the second phase of the application some questions shall have to be answered: Whether they hold a dual nationality, a valid UK residence or an indefinite UK leave.
Subsequently, their residential address and their National Insurance Number ( NIN ) shall be inputted. If they have not obtained a national insurance number ( NIN ) yet they can still apply by providing other evidence such as P45, bank statement or a council tax bill. If they give a National Insurance number, their records will be automatically checked during the application, to work out how long they have lived in the UK. They will be told the result of the check immediately.
The next questions to be answered concern previous criminal convictions both in the UK or any other country.
Then they will have to answer some security questions which would have to be saved/memorised as they will use them to log in and check their application status. And then there is only the declaration part left.
Finally, a proposed status will be given: pre-settled or settled and if they agree they will accept and finish the application. In the case, that they disagree which would mean that they have lived in the UK more than 5 years but the system could not detect it they have the right to challenge it but they would have to upload documents to prove the residence which will be submitted for further consideration.
To get pre-settled status, you only need to show you have lived in the UK for 1 day out of the last 6 months.To get settled status, you only need evidence for 6 months out of every 12 months for 5 years in a row. It doesn’t have to be the last 5 years. You can provide evidence for a different 5-year period – as long as you have not lived outside the UK for 5 years in a row since then.
If they have had months when they did not work or lived outside the UK, there might be gaps in their National Insurance record. They might need to provide documents to cover those gaps.
As a confirmation, they will receive an email from the Home Office with application reference number and a certificate to prove that they have applied. They will not know the outcome until the final e-mail is sent from the home office which it has been advised that it could take several weeks. Importantly, they will receive no hard copy document – to prove their status they will only have to log in to the government’s website.
Furthermore, their application reference number shall be provided in the case of a minor’s application.
NOT AN EU, EEA OR SWISS CITIZEN
If they are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
You may be able to apply if:
- you’re a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- 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 used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK
- you’re the family member of 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
They will need to provide proof of their relationship with their EU, EEA or Swiss citizen family member – for example, a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate, or a residence card. They can scan and submit this through the online application form.
The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021, except for in a few cases.
They will probably get a decision more quickly if they apply at the same time or after their family member applies.
Their family member will be given an application number when they apply. You can use this to ‘link’ your application to theirs, so that your applications are considered together.
If they have a valid ‘UK permanent residence document’
If you have a valid UK permanent residence document, you’ll have one of the following:
- a certificate inside your blue ‘residence documentation’ booklet (or pink if you’re a Swiss national)
- a certificate inside your passport
- a biometric residence card confirming permanent residence (only if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen)
Your document is not a permanent residence document if it has ‘registration certificate’ written on it.
If they are from the EU, EEA or Switzerland your permanent residence document will say ‘Document Certifying Permanent Residence’.
If they are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, their biometric residence card will say ‘Permanent Residence Status’.
To continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021 they must either:
- apply to the EU Settlement Scheme – you will not have to prove you have 5 years’ continuous residence
- apply for citizenship before 30 June 2021
Who cannot use the online service
You cannot use the online service to apply to the scheme if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you’re applying as:
- the family member of a British citizen you lived with in Switzerland or an EU or EEA country
- 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
- the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, and you’re in education – or you’re the child’s primary carer
Depending on each case, there are other types of settlements:
Prove you have right of abode in the UK
Apply to settle in the UK if your partner dies
Settlement: refugee or humanitarian protection
Apply to stay in the UK as a stateless person
Apply for settlement if you’re a Turkish Worker or Businessperson
Apply for a UK residence card
Apply for a Returning Resident visa
Apply for a derivative residence card
They might be entitled to apply for citizenship for free if they are a Commonwealth citizen who settled in the UK before 1 January 1973, or they are the child of someone who did.