Gherson LLP’s ‘Friday FAQs’ – Pre-settled status and Certificates of Sponsorship

25 Aug 2023, 05 mins ago

This week our immigration specialists from the Gherson LLP UK Inbound Immigration Team will be exploring the following topics:

  • Can I lose Pre-Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme?
  • What is Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS)?

I obtained Pre-Settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme but I have been living outside the UK. How can I retain my status to come back to the UK?

(A) Validity of Pre-Settled status

Pre-Settled Status is lost if you have spent two or more consecutive years outside of the UK. So long as you do not spend more than two consecutive years outside of the UK, your Pre-Settled Status should remain valid.

Additionally, if you hold Settled Status (permanent residence), this can be lost if you spend five consecutive years outside of the UK (This is four years for Swiss nationals).

(B) Applying for Settled status

Once you have held Pre-Settled status continuously for five years, you may be eligible to apply for Settled Status, subject to meeting the eligibility criteria, which includes absence thresholds.

It you are unable to meet the absence thresholds you may be wondering what your options are. The Home Office has recently announced that from September 2023, they will automatically extend Pre-Settled Status by a further two years. This will allow Pre-Settled Status holders who are unable to meet the absence requirements more time to make a successful Settled Status application.

If you have spent considerable amounts of time abroad and your objective is to apply for Settled Status, we recommend that you seek legal advice.

My UK employer has assigned me a CoS

What is a CoS?

A CoS is an electronic document issued by a Home Office approved sponsor license holder. A CoS is required when submitting certain work visa applications, such as those for Skilled, Senior or Specialist Workers.

Do I have to pay for my COS?

When assigning a CoS, the CoS assignment fee and the Immigration Skills charge fee (if applicable) will need to be paid for. The employer will usually cover the costs of the assignment fee, however they must cover the costs of the Immigration Skills Charge – this fee cannot be passed on to the migrant worker.

Once I get a CoS, can I travel to the UK?

Generally speaking, the answer is no.

Once you have received your CoS, you have to make a successful visa application before travelling to the UK.

There are exceptions to this rule for creative workers (e.g. artists, dancers, musicians, entertainers, or models) who are coming to the UK for relatively short periods of time.

You may be eligible to enter the UK with a valid CoS (and no visa) if you are seeking entry to the UK as a creative worker, you are a non-visa national (the Home Office has a list of nationals who do require a visa to visit the UK), and your engagement in the UK is 3 months or less. You will also need to meet other relevant eligibility requirements.

How Gherson can assist

Gherson’s Immigration Team are highly experienced in advising on UK visa matters. 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 for advice, send us an e-mail, or, alternatively, follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram, or LinkedIn to stay-up-to-date.

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 do not 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.

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