As we get closer to the UK’s formal departure from the European Union on 1 January 2021, EU nationals remain concerned about their future in the UK as it remains unclear what will happen once the transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. The Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has further added to the web of uncertainty as decisions on EU Settlement applications are suffering extensive delays due to the backlog of cases. EU nationals who have not submitted a valid immigration application to safeguard their status are urged to make an application without further delay to avoid facing problems with the UK Immigration Enforcement.
Brexit: What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) was introduced on 30 March 2020 to allow EU nationals and their family members to apply for a formal residence document that will allow them to reside in the UK post-Brexit. Applicants will need to provide proof of identity and residence in the UK.
Brexit: Submitting an EU Settlement Scheme application
Applications under the EU Settlement Scheme must be submitted in accordance with Annex 1 to Appendix EU to the Immigration Rules. If your application is successful you will be granted either settled status or pre-settled status. You will be granted settled status if you have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years. If you cannot show that you have resided in the UK for 5 continuous years you will be granted pre-settled status. If you are granted settled or pre-settled status you will be able to:
- Live, work and study in the UK;
- access the NHS for free;
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them;
- travel in and out of the UK.
To submit a valid application you must apply online and provide the mandatory documents. You will need to submit your identity documents and evidence of residence in the UK.
Brexit: I already have EU Permanent Status what should I do?
If you have already obtained a document certifying your permanent residence in the UK under the EU Regulations you must still apply to convert your document under the EU Settlement Scheme before 30 June 2021. The procedure is straightforward and can be done online. The only exception is if you have submitted an application to naturalise in the UK.
Brexit: What happens after 31 December 2020?
The UK Government has confirmed that EU citizens present in the UK after 31 December 2020 will be given until 30 June 2021 to safeguard their status in the UK by submitting a valid EU Settlement Scheme application. If you meet the requirements it is possible to submit the application from outside the UK. After pressure from the European Parliament, the UK government has also confirmed that EU citizens who fail to regularise their status before the deadline of 30 June 2021 will not be automatically deported. However, it remains unclear whether the EU Settlement Scheme will remain open. It is likely that EU nationals who miss the deadline will have to apply under the UK Immigration System.
Brexit: Impact of COVID-19 on EU Applications
Due to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, the Home Office is currently swamped with visa applications and are currently working to clear the backlog of cases from April 2020. In addition to this, all priority and premium visa services have been suspended. Therefore, it is not possible to request an expedited decision unless there are compassionate/compelling circumstances. In order to request an expedited decision, your legal representative must write to the Home Office and explain your personal circumstances and provide the appropriate evidence. If you submitted an application from outside the UK and your application has been approved you must adhere to the government guidelines on self-isolating.
Brexit: EU nationals travelling to the UK after 1 January 2021
After 1 January 2021, EU nationals without Pre Settled Status or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme who wishes to live or work in the UK will not be permitted entry into the UK. EU nationals will be required to apply for a visa to live in the UK under the UK Immigration System. However, EU nationals will be permitted to enter as visitors, visa-free for up to 6 months but if they want to live in the UK, then they must apply for a visa.
How our immigration solicitors can help with an 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 EU Settlement Scheme applications for a range of different clients. The key to submitting successful applications is being aware of the relevant Immigration 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 Legal Representation 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 matter. You can instruct one of our immigration and visa legal representatives to successfully assist you with a UK Visa application. Our solicitors and Barristers will help you comply with the Home Office’s requirements and meet the Immigration Rules for EU Settlement Scheme applications.
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 and meets the requirements, all necessary documents must be provided.
This can be a significant administrative task and you will need to submit the correct documentary evidence in support of your application. The UK Immigration Rules are complex and a legal representative can help ensure that your application meets the Immigration Rules.
Successful EU Settlement Scheme application
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 EU Settlement Scheme application and the merit of an application before your application even reaches the Home Office UK Visa & Immigration department. We can assist you with the preparation 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. We are minutes away from the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal, the Royal Courts of Justice and other central London courts.
Preparation is the key to successful visa applications. 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 the new EU Settlement Scheme application.
Contact our London immigration solicitors on 02071830570 or complete our contact form.