All EU nationals will need to make an application under the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after the UK has left the EU.
The deadline for making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021 if the UK leaves with a deal. However, if the UK leaves without a deal, EU nationals will need to be living in the UK before the UK leaves the EU to be able to apply and the deadline for making an application under these circumstances is 31 December 2020.
The EU Settlement Scheme statistics published on 14 November 2019 reveal that 590,300 applications were received by the EU Settlement Scheme in the month of October 2019 alone. With the number of applications made to the EU Settlement Scheme in total reaching 2,450,000. However, with the number of EU nationals in the UK estimated to be around 3.4 million, there are still a large proportion of EU nationals who have not yet made an application under the EU Settlement Scheme.
What does Settled and Pre-Settled Status mean?
When making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme, individuals will be considered for either Settled or Pre-Settled Status. An individual who has been resident in the UK for a continuous period of five years will be considered for Settled Status. Whereas individuals who have been in the UK for less than five years will be considered for Pre-Settled Status, and these individuals will then need to make a further application for Settled Status once they have lived in the UK for five years.
Individuals who are granted Settled or Pre-Settled Status will be able to:
- Work, or continue working, in the UK;
- Use the NHS;
- Enrol in education, or continue studying;
- Access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if eligible for them;
- Travel in and out of the UK, subject to certain restrictions*.
*The current government guidance states individuals with Settled Status can spend up to five years in a row outside the UK without losing their status, or four years if they are a Swiss national. Whereas individuals with Pre-Settled Status can spend up to two years in a row outside the UK without losing their status. However, individuals with Pre-Settled Status will need to maintain their continuous residence if they want to qualify for Settled Status. This is still subject to approval by Parliament, however.
How we can help
Our Immigration Team are experienced in navigating Home Office applications, including EU Settlement Scheme applications, from start to finish. We provide clear advice and guide individuals through the Home Office processes and requirements, providing clarity and support throughout.