This morning, our Head of Immigration received an email from the Prime Minister, Theresa May, informing us of the latest update in regard to the future of EEA nationals in the UK post-Brexit, ahead of her trip to Brussels. In her email, Theresa May confirms there will be a simple swap process to EEA Settled Status, for EEA nationals who already hold EEA Permanent Residence in the UK.
The Simple Swap Process for EEA Settled Status in the UK
Under the 2006 EEA Regulations, EEA nationals who are exercising their Treaty Rights in the UK can currently apply for EEA Permanent Residence, providing they meet the requirements. Since the UK voted to leave the EU, there has been a great amount of uncertainty for EEA nationals currently in the UK as to their status post-Brexit. However, early this morning Theresa May finally shed some light the status of EEA nationals after Brexit by stating:
“Any EU citizen who holds Permanent Residence under the old scheme, there will be a simple process put in place to swap their current status for UK settled status”.
This confirms to the 3 million EEA citizens currently in the UK that their lawful status is protected and they will be able to swap their EEA Permanent Residence to EEA Settled Status. It is highly recommended that EEA nationals should therefore apply for EEA Permanent Residence if they have not yet done so, in order that they can benefit from this simple swap process.
EEA Settled Status Rules Post-Brexit
Once a Brexit deal is reached and the UK leaves the EU, it is likely the EEA Regulations will no longer apply, and EEA nationals will have to make their visa applications under new rules which are expected to be more stringent and harder to meet.
It is predicted that the new EEA Settled Status rules will be similar to the requirements under the existing Immigration Rules for non-EEA migrants which will include meeting the:
- Minimum financial requirement;
- English Language Requirement and Life in the UK Test; and
- Accommodation requirement.
Although the Prime Minster mentioned that Comprehensive Sickness Insurance will no longer need to be demonstrated as is currently the case for EEA nationals who are studying or self-sufficient, post-Brexit it is anticipated there will be similar requirements which will need to be satisfied under the new EEA Settled Status rules.
LEXVISA Immigration Lawyers based in Central London recently wrote that one of our clients had just been granted EEA Permanent Residence. If you are an EEA national looking to apply for EEA Permanent Residence before Brexit is finalised, contact our immigration team to ensure your application has the greatest chance of success and to give you the opportunity to swap your EEA Permanent Residence into EEA Settled Status.
Apply for a British Passport under EEA Settled Status
At present, EEA nationals can use their EEA Permanent Residence to apply for British citizenship after they have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 6 years. If the EEA national has only been in the UK for 5 years when they receive their EEA Permanent Residence then they must wait a further 12 months before applying for British citizenship. Yet, if the EEA national has already been in the UK for 6 years by the time they are granted their EEA Permanent Residence, then they are eligible to apply for British citizenship immediately.
Under the new EEA Settled Status route post-Brexit however, an EEA national will be unable to apply for British citizenship as quickly, with the process being lengthier and more complex. Therefore it is advised that any EEA nationals who have yet to apply for EEA Permanent Residence do so before the UK leaves the EU and the procedures for settling in the UK are made less simple.
Using Legal Representation to Make an EEA Settled Status Application
Legal representatives, such as our specialist immigration and visa law firm, are qualified to advise you on immigration law and your immigration status. It is possible to instruct an immigration and visa legal representative to submit an EEA Settled Status application.
Caseworkers at the Home Office are trained to reject applications which are improperly prepared, for example by failing to provide the correct supporting evidence. In order to ensure your EEA Settled Status application succeeds, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your EEA Settled Status application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful EEA Settled Status Applications
Our team of solicitors and barristers are specialist immigration lawyers who act in your best interest. We offer a client-tailored approach from the outset. From the very first meeting, we will be able to advise you in respect of your immigration status and the merit of your EEA Settled Status application before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your EEA Settled Status application and ensure that you meet all the requirements of the relevant rules.
We are based in the legal epicentre of London, just across the road from the Royal Courts of Justice in order to ensure we get the best results for our clients. LEXVISA is just minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to a successful EEA Settled Status application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex immigration rules and requirements. If you wish to meet one of our lawyers, please call our Immigration Team so we can assess your case and arrange your legal consultation.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.