Last week the high court rejected a legal bid requesting for an extension to the EU Settlement Scheme. Campaigners raised concerns that EU nationals who fail to apply before 30 June 2021 will be left in a vulnerable position with no legal status in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme was introduced on 30 March 2019 to assist EU nationals and their family members to regularise their status in the UK. The EU Settlement Scheme is currently open for EU citizens who wish to apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme was introduced on 30 March 2019 to provide EU citizens with the opportunity to make an application to regularise their status in the UK. EU citizens who wish to stay in the UK after 30 June 2021 must submit an application unless they have already acquired permanent status. Applicants will be either granted Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status. The type of document you are granted will largely depend on how long you have been resident in the UK. The purpose of the scheme was to allow EU nationals and their family members to protect their legal status in the UK once the UK had officially left the European Union.
Calls for the EU Settlement Scheme to be extended
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) petitioned for the Home Office to extend the deadline for the EU Settlement Scheme to allow EU citizens who miss the current cut-off date (30 June 2021) to make an application to regularise their status. EU citizens who fail to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme face the risk of having no legal status in the UK and could face detention or removal from the UK. The JCWI argued that the SSHD had failed to gather enough information to ensure adequate action was being taken to encourage vulnerable groups to submit an application before the deadline of 30 June 201. Justice Nathalie Lieven rejected the request for the matter to be heard at a Judicial Review hearing. Satbir Singh, the chief executive of the JCWI, said:
“We are deeply disappointed at today’s decision. The fact remains that in June, tens of thousands of EU citizens are at risk of falling through the gaps and being made undocumented. They will then be subject to the same hostile environment which has already ruined the lives of countless people, including the Windrush generation…”
Settled Status v Pre Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme
The key distinction between Settled Status and Pre-Settled Status is your legal position in the UK. Settled Status is the same as Indefinite Leave to Remain. Whereas Pre-Settled Status does not grant permanent status straight away and Applicants must apply for permanent status after holding Pre-Settled Status for a period of 5 years. Settled Status will be granted to EU citizens who can demonstrate 5 years of continuous residency in the UK with documentary evidence. EU nationals who have Settled Status can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status. If you have less than 5 years of residency in the UK you will be granted Pre-Settled Status.
EU nationals holding either document can also benefit from:
- Right to work, rent and bank in the UK;
- Use the NHS for free;
- Right to study in the UK;
- Right to access public funds i.e. universal credit and pension; and
- Right to travel freely in and out of the UK.
Children born to EU nationals who hold Settled Status will automatically be entitled to British citizenship and children born to EU nationals who hold Pre Settled Status will be automatically entitled to the same status document as their parents.
How our immigration solicitors can help with a EU Settlement Scheme application
Our immigration solicitors in London specialise in EU Settlement Scheme applications and prepare applications to the highest standard. We have an impeccable track history of submitting successful applications for a range of different clients. The key to submitting successful applications is being aware of the relevant rules. Our immigration solicitors in London guide Applicants through the requirements and prepare detailed legal submissions in support of the application. In addition to the legal representations, our team of solicitors also provides multiple substantial reviews of the application bundle to ensure that the correct documentary evidence is submitted. We also prepare and assist with the submission of the application.
Using our immigration solicitors to submit 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.
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 EU Settlement Scheme 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 EU Settlement Scheme application meets the rules.
Successful EU Settlement Scheme application with our immigration solicitors
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 EU Settlement Scheme 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 a successful EU Settlement Scheme application. Our UK immigration and visa solicitors are here to guide you through the complex 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.