What is the EU Settlement Scheme?
The EU Settlement Scheme was introduced as a result of the arrangements for Brexit, at which point the UK will no longer form part of the European Union. The Scheme processes the applications of EU/EEA (EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) and Swiss citizens currently residing in the UK to lawfully remain in the UK post-Brexit.
The Brexit transition period will come to an end on 31 December 2020, ending freedom of movement. All EU/EEA citizens who wish to remain in the UK must be physically present in the UK before 31 December 2020, and apply for status under the EU Settlement Scheme by no later than 30 June 2021.
Who does the Settlement Scheme affect?
Any person who is a citizen of an EU/EEA country and Switzerland, along with their immediate family members, who wish to carry on living in the UK must apply to the Scheme (even if they have a British spouse) by 30 June 2021. This includes all those who currently hold status under the EEA Regulations, such as an EEA residence, or permanent residency card.
After this date, if you do not hold Pre-settled Status, Settled Status, you will need to leave the country. For additional information please see our previous blog.
EU nationals living in the UK who have family members joining them in the UK after the transition period (from 1 January 2021 onwards) will still be able to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme after the 31 December 2020, provided the relationship existed before the end of the transition period, and is subsisting at the time that the application is made. Those family members who do so, may first be required to apply for an EU/EEA family permit in order to enter the UK at this time, and subsequently make their application from within the UK, no later than 30 June 2021.
When is the deadline to apply?
- If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen you must be physically present in the UK as of 31 December 2020.
- If you wish to remain in the UK after Brexit, you must apply for Pre-Settled Status or Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme by 30 June 2021. However, it is recommended that any application is made by 31 December 2020.
- If you fail to meet this requirement and wish to return to the UK after the transition period, you will need to apply in accordance with the UK immigration system in force at that time from your country of residence or nationality.
Gherson has been assisting clients with applications under the Home Office’s EU Settlement Scheme since it was established and has a wealth of experience in dealing with all aspects of the Pre-Settled and Settled routes. If you have any questions or queries relating to these categories, 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.
Paralegal in our General Immigration team