The EU Settlement Scheme was opened on 30 March 2019 and applications can mostly be made either online of via the mobile app. The Scheme is open to new applicants as well as EU nationals and their family members who already have residence under the EEA Regulations (residence cards, registration certificates and permanent residence documents). These individuals will have to transfer their leave under the Scheme before December 2020. It is important to submit a correct and well prepared application to the Home Office under the Settlement Scheme in order to secure legal status in the UK before the transitional period with the EU comes to an end. Our Immigration Solicitors in London specialise in applications for EEA nationals and their family members and are happy to arrange a consultation so we can inform potential applicants of our services and give accurate and confidential legal advice.
What is EU settlement scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme was introduced following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. The Scheme is open to EU nationals and their non-EEA family members who are in the UK before 31 December 2020 and intend to make the UK their permanent home. Applications are made in accordance with the Immigration Rules: Appendix EU. Depending on how long Applicants have been continuously in the UK when they apply, they will either be granted settled status or pre-settled status.
What is the difference between settled and pre settled status?
Applicants with 5 years continuous residence in the UK will be granted Settled Status if all of the requirements can be met. Applicants can still apply if they have been resident in the UK for less than 5 continuous years but they will be granted pre-settled status until they reach 5 year residence when they can then get Settled Status. Applicants are then able to apply for British citizenship after holding Settled Status for 1 year if all of the requirements for naturalisation can be met.
If pre-settled status holders are absent from the UK for a continuous period of 2 years or more then they will be ineligible to apply for settled status.
Both settled and pre-settled status allows individuals to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS for free as you do now
- enrol in education or continue studying
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
- travel in and out of the UK
How long does settled status last?
EU Settled Status is the equivalent to indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence under other UK visa routes. This means individuals who have settled status are free from immigration controls and there is no expiry date.
Under the Settlement Scheme, EU nationals usually do not get a physical document (Biometric Residence Card or Permit), however non-EEA family members and extended family members might. Whilst settled status does not need to be renewed, the Biometric Residence Cards/Permits may have to be renewed; usually every 10 years. This is a simple process which can be done online.
Can settled status be revoked?
Yes, Settled Status can be revoked or can lapse under certain circumstances. Settled Status can be revoked where there are deportation proceedings issued against an individual (i.e. where the individual has served a custodial sentence).
Those with Settled Status can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing Settled Status, however spending more than 5 years in a row will lead to the Settled Status lapsing and they may then have issues re-entering the UK.
How long does it take to process EU settlement scheme?
Once an application from an EU national has been submitted, the Home Office standard processing time is 5 working days for straightforward applications which do not require any additional checks. Applications will likely take longer in the following circumstances:
- Applications as a minor which is not linked to an adult;
- Paper applications – i.e. applications based on a derivative right to reside in the UK;
- Applicants who have a criminal record;
- Applications from non-EEA national family members who are applying based on a relationship they haven’t relied on in a previous application to the Home Office.
Recent Home Office updates show that there are currently delays in applications under the Settlement Scheme being processed due to COVID-19.
How do I check my settled status?
As previously mentioned, EU nationals will not get a physical residence document under the Scheme, but will be able to check their status online on the Home Office website. Employers and landlords can also use this tool to confirm a migrant’s status. Non-EEA national family members will get a physical Biometric Residence Card/Permit which will confirm their status in the UK under the Settlement Scheme.
Using our Immigration Solicitors in London to apply to 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 EU Settlement Scheme application before the deadline
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 under the EU Regulations or Settlement Scheme 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’s Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the relevant rules.
Successfully apply to the EU Settlement Scheme with our Immigration Solicitors in London
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 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 successful applications under the EU Regulations and Immigration Rules. 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.