How does the recent High Court decision that the EU Settlement Scheme is in-part unlawful affect those with pre-settled status?

18 Jan 2023, 24 mins ago

A part of UK government’s Settlement Scheme for EU nationals living in the UK has been declared unlawful in a recent High Court ruling.

In short, the court ruled that the terms of the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement mean that EU citizens issued with a form of temporary status called pre-settled status should not become unlawfully residing in the UK, if they do not make a subsequent application for permanent residence.

Pre-settled status grants the holder a limited right to live and work in the UK. It expires at the end of a 5-year period unless the holder applies for settled status (permanent residence) before their leave expires. 

The Independent Monitoring Authority (an independent non-departmental public body protecting the rights of EU/EEA/Swiss nationals in the UK) challenged these arrangements in the High Court, saying the UK was breaking the legal promises it had given to the EU during the Brexit negotiations. It argued that large numbers of people could become illegal migrants overnight, if they did not apply for settled status in time. That would mean they would lose their right to live, work or study in the UK.

The judgment is being appealed by the Home Office. Until the appeal has been heard and decided (which is likely to take several months) those with pre-settled status in the UK should continue to apply for settled status before their current leave expires.

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