It’s not too late for EU nationals to submit an application under the EU Settlement Scheme to secure their status before the Brexit transition period comes to an end on 31 December 2020. The official deadline to submit an application for Settled Status or Pre Settled Status is 30 June 2021 as long as you can demonstrate that you started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. The Home Office has also introduced a provision where EU nationals can apply from outside the UK subject to meeting the requirements. Non-EU family members may also apply for a document under the EU Settlement Scheme.
What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme was launched in 2019 to assist EU nationals and their family members to regularise their status before the Brexit transitional period comes to an end. There are two types of documents available under this scheme namely the Settled Status and Pre Settled Status document. The purpose of the scheme was to allow EU nationals and their family members to protect their residence in the UK before the UK officially leaves the European Union ending free movement rights.
What is Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme?
Settled Status is often considered as a digital equivalent to indefinite leave to remain and EEA Permanent Residence. Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme is for those who have lived in the UK for a 5-year continuous period. EU nationals who are granted Settled Status can stay in the UK without immigration restrictions for as long as they like and may also apply for British citizenship. EU nationals who have a small gap in their 5-year continuous period may still apply if there are compassionate and compelling circumstances regarding the break of continuous residence.
EU nationals who have Settled Status can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status.
What is Pre Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme?
Pre Settled Status is for those EU nationals and their family members who have not accumulated 5 years of continuous residence in the UK but would like to secure their status in the UK before the transitional period comes to an end. EU nationals and their family members who wish to apply under this category must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. If the application is granted you can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date your application is granted. Following this, you can apply for Settled Status once you have acquired 5 years’ continuous residence (you must apply before the expiry of the Pre Settled Status) and subsequently British citizenship.
EU nationals who have Pre Settled Status can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing their status.
What are the benefits of holding Settled or Pre Settled Status?
EU nationals who hold Settled Status or Pre Settled Status will have permission to reside in the UK once free movement rights come to an end on 1 January 2021. 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.
EU nationals can apply to bring their family members to the UK before 31 December 2020 or 31 December 2025 for spouses. Family members will need to apply once they are in the UK. EU nationals who cannot bring their family members under the EU Settlement Scheme are advised to consider a family visa.
Can I use the EU Settlement Scheme from outside of the UK?
EU nationals and their family members can apply for status (Settled or Pre Settled) from outside the UK via the EU Exit: ID Document Check app. EU nationals may use their EU passports to verify their ID and non-EU family members must use their UK residence card with a biometric chip. Applicants applying from outside the UK must be able to demonstrate residence in the UK. If you are unable to scan your ID document using the EU Exit ID Document Check app you will need to post your document to the Home Office for verification before you can submit an application.
What are the processing times for applications under the EU Settlement Scheme?
If your Settled Status or Pre Settled Status application is well prepared and you submit the correct supporting documents you should receive a decision within 7 to 14 days from the date of submission. However, if your application is weak and requires further information/documents it could take up to 28 days to receive a decision. Our immigration team is averaging a decision 7 to 10 days from the date of submission. Our immigration regularly submits successful applications on behalf of EU nationals and their family members.
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 a 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 a 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.