Guidelines to EU Settlement Scheme
When the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, the rights currently enjoyed by EU citizens and their families in the UK will remain unchanged until the beginning of 2021. However the EU Settlement Scheme will be open to applications from 30 March 2019. The scheme is designed to enable EU citizens and their family members to continue to live and work in the UK in 2021 and beyond and to have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits.
EU citizens and their family members who have been continuously resident in the UK for five years by 31 December 2020 will be eligible for “settled status”, enabling them to stay indefinitely in the UK.
EU citizens and their family members who arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020, but with less than five years continuous residence, will be eligible for “pre-settled status”, enabling them to stay until they have reached the five-year threshold. They can then also apply for settled status.
There is no automatic entry to the EU Settlement Scheme. An application must be made to the Home Office. Every EU national and their family, including EU citizens married to a British citizen, will need to make an application before the deadline of 30 June 2021. Failure to apply will result in the loss of the legal right to live and work in the UK.
Applications will be made online, or using an app, with applicants providing proof of identity and nationality with a passport or national ID card and a recent digital passport-style photograph.
The Home Office will carry out automated checks of data held by Her Majesty Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the Department for Work and Pension (DWP) to verify residency. Those checks will show evidence of employment and receipt of benefits. If the checks indicate that the applicant has been continuously resident in the UK for a period of five years, they will be granted settled status. Those who have no data with HMRC or DWP will be able to upload documentary evidence of their continuous residence.
Criminality and Security Checks
All applicants will be subject to criminality and security checks. Any criminal convictions are to be self-declared in the application and the Home Office will then carry out its own checks through the Police National Computer (PNC) and the Warnings Index (WI). Any convictions will be judged on a case by case basis.
The application will cost:
- £32.50 for children under the age of 16
- £0 for those who already have valid permanent residence/ILR
- £0 for those who have been granted pre-settled status and are applying for settled status after April 2019
- £65 for all other applicants
Successful EU nationals will be granted evidence of their status through an online service. No physical documents will be issued. Non-EU nationals will, in addition, be issued with Biometric Residence Documents, where they do not already hold one issued under the EEA Regulations.
How long will applications take? It is expected that most applications will be turned around in a couple of weeks.
Who does not need to apply?
- Irish citizens
- Holders of permanent residence/indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK
However, if preferred, permanent residence can be swapped for settled status and Irish citizens can also obtain settled status if they wish.