In the news this week there have been several updates and statistics in relation to the EU Settlement Scheme and the future of EU nationals in the UK post-Brexit. From our own experience, it also appears that there are increasing delays in receiving decisions on EU Settled Status and Pre-Settled Status applications, which is most likely due to the huge increase of applications over the past couple of months, but nonetheless frustrating and concerning for applicants who are keen to secure their status in the UK. If you need help in making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme or would like us to help chase up a delayed decision with the Home Office, then please do not hesitate to contact our Settlement Scheme team in order to discuss your case and how we can assist you.
Brexit Update: What are the latest developments in regards to the EU Settlement Scheme?
There have been a number of recent developments and updates in regard to the EU Settlement Scheme. Earlier today, the BBC reported that the UK Government has confirmed that there will be no automatic deportation of EU nationals who fail to submit an application under the Scheme by the deadline. The European Parliament Brexit Co-Ordinator, Guy Verhofstadt, told BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today programme’ that Applicants may still be able to apply after the deadline if they can give reasons “why it was not possible to do it within the normal procedures”. These are likely to have to be compelling and compassionate reasons. Whilst this is reassuring news, it is strongly advised that Applicants apply straight away to ensure their status in the UK after Brexit.
Further, official Home Office figures for December 2019 revealed the total number of EU Settled Status applications so far has been over 2.7 million, with 163,300 being made in December 2019 alone. The Guardian recently reported, however, it is estimated that there are still over 900,000 EU nationals yet to apply under the Scheme. It also suggests that far more Applicants are being granted Pre-Settled Status (the equivalent to a Residence Card or Registration Certificate), even if that person has been in the UK for at least 5 continuous years. It is important that Applicants are given what they are entitled to, and having specialist representatives can really help in ensuring everything goes smoothly in this process. LEXVISA Immigration Team has experience in dealing with such applications and are therefore qualified to help get the secure status in the UK that you are entitled to.
What do I need to know about the EU Settlement Scheme?
Under the Scheme, EU nationals living in the UK can apply to stay in the country after Brexit until 30 June 2021, or 31 December 2020 if the UK leaves without a deal. Depending on how long you have been in the UK, you will either be granted Settled Status (5 years continuous residence in the UK) or Pre-Settled Status (less than 5 years continuous residence in the UK). We outline a few key things that Applicants should know about the EU Settlement Scheme before applying:
- Non-EEA family members can also apply under the Scheme if they can prove their dependent relationship with the EU national and all of the other eligibility requirements are met;
- Most applications can be made online or by using the app on a smartphone, however, in certain circumstances a paper application form may be applicable (i.e. if you are applying based on a derivative right to live in the UK). Processing times for these types of applications may be longer;
- It is free for anyone to apply;
- You should apply under the Scheme even if you already have Permanent Residence or a Residence Card or Registration Certificate under the Immigration (EEA) Regulations. The process for converting your leave is relatively straightforward as the Home Office has already accepted your circumstances; however, you will not be issued with another physical document once you have been granted either Settled Status or Pre-Settled Status;
- Only certain people may be able to stay in the UK without applying under the EU Settlement Scheme, such as Irish citizens or those who have indefinite leave to remain. Overall though, it is highly important that an application is made in good time.
You can sign up for email updates here in order to get the latest information regarding the EU Settlement Scheme.
Using Legal Representation to prepare an EU Settlement Scheme 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 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.
Successful EU Settlement Scheme 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 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.