We are pleased to introduce a new column in the Gherson News and Blogs section: ‘Gherson answers your questions’.
Our team receives a large volume of enquiries on obtaining pre-settled and settled status in the UK for EU nationals, working in the UK and applying for UK citizenship. Although we always reply to each enquiry individually, we have decided to publish a compilation of the most frequently asked questions together with our answers.
The UK immigration rules are complex and subject to constant change. The economic uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic is also forcing the Government to regularly introduce, amend and remove various temporary measures.
Such instability naturally causes concern and we hope that our new column will help clarify some of the most frequent immigration issues.
We have subdivided the questions and answers into separate sections. Please note that these sections may change as we may include questions and answers on other immigration issues in our further publications.
Settlement in the UK
- Question: I am an EU national and I would like to move to the UK. Can I do this after December 2020?
Answer by Sarah Green, Immigration Consultant
From 1 January 2021, EU nationals who are not residing in the UK will be required to integrate into the new points-based system and will need to obtain permission before entering the UK, if they intend to work or study in the UK.
Therefore, where possible, we advise that EU nationals travel to the UK before 31 December 2020, if they intend to reside in the UK, whilst they are still able to exercise free movement rights. EU nationals entering the UK by 31 December 2020 will then be required to obtain status under the EU Settlement Scheme, which we recommend is obtained as soon as possible, as deadlines will apply. In order to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, the EU national must have an intention to reside in the UK.
If you require assistance with obtaining status under the EU Settlement Scheme, or have a query in respect of moving to the UK, please contact us to discuss your circumstances in further detail.
- Question: Can I apply for pre-settled status as a family member of an EU citizen under the EU Settlement Scheme? I am from Pakistan, and my partner is French. He has pre-settled status and works in the UK. We have been living together in the UK for almost 1 year, and prior to that we maintained a long-distance relationship for 4 years.
Answer by Gintare Plistkovaite, Solicitor
In order to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme (“EUSS”) as an extended family member of a relevant EU citizen, you should first be in possession of an EEA Family Permit or UK residence card. To obtain an EEA Family Permit, you have to demonstrate ‘a durable relationship’ with your partner, such as living together ‘in a relationship akin to marriage or civil partnership for 2 years or more’.
Unfortunately, if you cannot demonstrate that you have been in a durable relationship with your partner, an EU citizen, for at least 2 years, you would not be eligible to apply for the EEA family permit, unless there is other significant evidence of a durable relationship, for example, ‘evidence of joint responsibility for a child (a birth certificate or a custody agreement showing cohabitation and the sharing of parental responsibility)’.
Working in the UK
- Question: How can I come to the UK for work?
The new points-based system will be effective as of 1 December 2020. Under the new rules, there are a number of routes that may be available to you in respect of coming to work in the UK, depending on your circumstances. Below is a very brief summary of the potential options that are available to enable you to work in the UK. Should you wish to discuss any of these in further detail, please contact us.
- Finding an employer based in the UK who will sponsor you;
- If you work in an international company with a branch in the UK, you may be able to transfer to the UK branch of your company (see more here);
- Applying for a Start-up or Innovator visa if you are an entrepreneur and would like to set up a business in the UK (see more information here);
- If you intend to invest in the UK you could enter the UK as a Tier 1 (Investor), further information can be found here;
- If you are an ‘emerging leader’ in one of the following fields i.e. academia or research, arts and culture or digital technology, you may be able to apply for a Global Talent visa;
- You may be eligible to apply for a Temporary Worker (Tier 5 visa) under one of the categories listed here.
- UK Ancestry.
Applying for British Citizenship
- Question: My child’s father is a British national. Is my child eligible for UK citizenship?
Answer by Navka Raja, Immigration Consultant and Trainee Solicitor
Every person who is a British citizen has derived their status by descent or otherwise than by descent. The difference between the two types of British citizenship is that a person who is British by descent will not usually be able to pass citizenship automatically to any child that is born outside of the UK.
Therefore, we would need to determine whether your child’s father acquired British citizenship by descent or otherwise, i.e. we would need to confirm the father’s date and place of birth, how and when he acquired British nationality, and the child’s date and place of birth to ascertain whether he would be able to pass this on to your child.
- Question: I am a spouse of a UK citizen and I am now applying for naturalisation as a British citizen. How should I count my 90 days that I am allowed to be outside the UK? Should I count from the beginning of the calendar year 2020 or should I take the last 12 months before submitting my application?
Answer by Gintare Plistkovaite, Solicitor
You may apply for British citizenship based on three years continuous lawful residence in the UK as a spouse of a British citizen. You must not have been absent from the UK for more than 270 days during the three-year qualifying period and no more than 90 days in the last 12 months prior to submission of your naturalisation application.
Self-Isolation Rules on Arrival to the UK
- Question: Do all tourists arriving to the UK have to self-isolate?
Answer by Amalia Gherson, Trainee Solicitor
Whether you need to isolate or not, upon your arrival to the UK, will depend on the country you are arriving from.
The list of countries currently exempt from the 14-day self-isolation can be found here. Please note that this list is frequently updated and that you must also fill out the public health passenger locator form (PLF form) before you set off on your journey to the UK.
If you have not found an answer to your question, or if you would like to talk to us about your specific circumstances, please do not hesitate to contact us. Gherson has extensive experience in all aspects of UK immigration law and we continue to closely monitor any immigration updates published by the UK government.
The information in these blogs 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 these blogs. 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.