The EU Settlement Scheme introduced by the Home Office will allow European citizens to gain settled or pre-settled status before the UK leaves the EU.
According to the official Government website, the rights and status of EU citizens living in the UK will remain the same until 30 June 2021. In order to reside lawfully in the UK after this date, EU citizens will have to successfully apply on the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme. If the UK leaves the EU with no deal, the deadline for EU citizens to apply will be 30 December 2020.
The EU Settlement Scheme is still currently in an advanced testing phase and will be fully available to the public by 30 March 2019, as stated on the official Government EU Settlement Scheme information page.
In order to qualify for settled status in the UK, EU citizens must have lived in the UK for a continuous period of five years before applying. Continuous residence means that you must not have been absent from the UK for a continuous period of six months or more in any 12-month period.
If you are granted settled status in the UK under this scheme you will be allowed to reside in the UK for an indefinite period. You will also be able to apply for British citizenship once you are eligible to do so.
In terms of family members, if an EU citizen is granted settled status they will be eligible to bring close family members to the UK after 31 December 2020, as long as certain criteria are met. Any children born in the UK to an EU citizen living in the UK with settled status will automatically be a British citizen.
Pre-settled status is offered to EU citizens and their family members who will not have lived in the UK continuously for five years prior to 31 December 2020. Once an EU citizen has lived in the UK for five years they will be eligible to change their status to settled. In order to maintain pre-settled status, EU citizens must not spend more than two years outside the UK.
If a child is born to an EU citizen who holds pre-settled status, they will not automatically be a British citizen. They will, however, be eligible for pre-settled status and must qualify as a British citizen through their other parent, if applicable.
Entering the UK with settled and pre-settled status
If you are an EU citizen, you will still be able to use your EU passport or identity card to enter the UK once you are granted settled or pre-settled status.
In order to apply on the EU Settlement Scheme you will need to provide specific evidence to prove your identity, residence and submit other supporting documentation. Gherson have extensive experience in dealing with immigration matters for EU citizens and the EU Settlement Scheme.
If you have any questions or queries relating to the rights of EU citizens or the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme, please do not hesitate to contact us.
The information in this blog is for general information purposes only and does not purport to be comprehensive or to provide legal advice. Whilst every effort is made to ensure the information and law is current as of the date of publication it should be stressed that, due to the passage of time, this does not necessarily reflect the present legal position. Gherson accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from accessing or reliance on information contained in this blog. For formal advice on the current law please don’t hesitate to contact Gherson. Legal advice is only provided pursuant to a written agreement, identified as such, and signed by the client and by or on behalf of Gherson.