UK Immigration Update: EU Net Migration at its lowest level in 16 years

Recent figures published yesterday by the Office of National Statistics (“ONS”) highlight that EU Net Migration figures are at their lowest level since 2003. The most likely reason behind these latest statistics is the uncertainty that still surrounds Brexit and the future of EU nationals in the UK. EU nationals and their family members who wish to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme should not hesitate to contact LEXVISA as we are highly qualified and experienced in preparing successful applications. Contact us now in order to secure your status before the UK leaves the EU.

What do the latest ONS statistics show in regard to EU Net Migration?

The ONS is an independent body which collects data to produce official statistics. In its migration statistics quarterly report which was published on 28 November 2019, it shows that EU net migration has fallen since 2016 and is at its lowest since 2003. This is because of a gradual increase in EU citizens leaving the UK as well as a decrease in those coming to the UK over the same time period. The fall in immigration for work is primarily due to a decrease in EU citizens coming to the UK seeking employment. The ONS report shows that in the year ending June 2019, EU net migration has declined to 48,000. This is in contrast to over 200,000 in 2015/2016. However, more EU nationals are still moving to the UK than leaving. The ONS report also suggests that non-EEA net migration has gradually increased since 2013, as immigration has risen and emigration remained broadly stable for this group. This is mainly due to the increase of those coming to the UK to study on the Tier 4 student visa.

The obvious reason for the fall in EU net migration is of course Brexit. The uncertainty around the rights of EU nationals and the process of securing their status in the UK may have put off a lot of EU nationals, making them decide to return to their home country or elsewhere.

How can EU nationals secure their status in the UK before Brexit?

EU nationals and their family members can apply to remain in the UK by making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme. Depending on how long the Applicant has been in the UK, they will either be granted Settled Status (the equivalent to Permanent Residence or Indefinite Leave to Remain under the current EEA Regulations and Immigration Rules for non-EEA nationals) or Pre-Settled Status (equivalent to an EEA Residence Card or Registration Certificate, which are both valid for 5 years). Applicants for Settled Status will have to demonstrate that they have been lawfully present in the UK for 5 continuous years.

It is relatively straight forward to apply as applicants will need to prove their identity and residence in the UK. Having settled status will allow EU nationals and their family members to work in the UK, use the NHS, study, access public funds if eligible and travel to and from the UK. It is free to apply and the deadline to do so depends on whether the UK leaves with or without a deal. Successful applicants will not get a physical document (such as a Biometric Residence Card) as they would if applying for a UK visa under the current EEA Regulations or Immigration Rules, but instead, their status will be confirmed electronically.

Using Legal Representation to prepare an Application under the EU Settlement Scheme

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 application under the EU Settlement Scheme.

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 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 application meets the relevant rules.

Successful Applications under EU Settlement Scheme

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 application under the EU Settlement Scheme before your matter even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation and submission of your 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 application under the EU Settlement Scheme. 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 to discuss your application.

Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.

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