The EU Settlement Scheme is designed for EU/EEA nationals and their family members who are currently living in the UK, or will begin living in the UK before 31 December 2020. The Scheme gives applicants the opportunity to secure their status in the UK in light of Brexit.
EU citizens and their family members who can prove they have lived in the UK for five years or more will be granted settled status, and those living here for less than five years will be granted pre-settled status.
EU citizens and their family members with settled status or pre-settled status will have the same access as they currently do to healthcare, pensions and other benefits in the UK. The deadline to apply for the EU Settlement scheme is 30 June 2021.
Q: Do I need to make an application before 31 December 2020 or 30 June 2021?
A: The deadline to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021, however we would recommend to apply as soon as possible, ideally before 31 December 2020. This is because come 01 January 2021 we may start seeing changes as a result of Brexit and as such, we cannot guarantee that these changes will not have a negative impact on entering and leaving the UK.
Q: I don’t have a national insurance number, can I still apply?
A: Absolutely! A national insurance number is not a requirement for the EU Settlement Scheme. Providing your national insurance number means that the Home Office can check your records and if you have a history of paying taxes and/or national insurance contributions, you will be issued with pre-settled or settled status accordingly. If you do not have a national insurance number it just means that the Home Office are likely going to ask you to provide documents confirming your residence.
Q: Will I get a Biometric Residence Card?
A: Not everyone will be issued with a Biometric Residence Card. Most applicants, including EEA nationals and family members whom have previously held a Biometric Residence Card will not be issued with any physical document. Rather you will be able to log on to the government website to view and evidence your status to anyone who request to see it. Non-EEA family members who have never been issued with a Biometric Residence Card will be issued with one under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Q: I am an unmarried partner of an EEA national, can I apply for pre-settled status?
A: You will be eligible, yes. However, you must have already been acknowledged as the unmarried partner, which means you should have already been issued with a relevant document. A relevant document is defined in the Immigration Rules and includes a family permit, residence card or a permanent residence card.
Q: I have only lived in the UK as an EEA family member for 2 years but I have been given settled status, what should I do?
A: If you have had residence in the UK in a previous immigration category, such as a Tier 2 (General) visa and then married an EEA national, your EU settlement scheme application may have picked up your previous residence and/or tax history, hence why the system has recognised you having lived in the UK for 5 years. However, it would be best if you informed them that this decision is incorrect. They will then issue you the correct status. Whilst we appreciate that this is not an ideal situation, it is always best to have the correct status so if and when you come to apply for naturalisation to be a British citizen, you will not face any issues.
Q: I already have permanent residence, do still need to apply?
A: The answer to this question depends on if you wish to apply for naturalisation as a British national and if so, when you are eligible to do so. An applicant can typically apply for naturalisation 12 months after acquiring or obtaining permanent residence. If you are eligible to make an application for naturalisation before 31 December 2020, then you do not need to apply for settled status. However, if you are not eligible before 31 December 2020, then it is recommend that you apply for settled status as come 31 December 2020, your permanent residence card will lose its validity. This will not affect the date you are eligible to apply for naturalisation.
Astons is a leading global immigration advisory firm with offices in London, Beijing, Moscow, Dubai and Limassol (Republic of Cyprus) and offers residency & citizenship investment solutions worldwide including Turkey, Vanuatu, EU & the Caribbean.
For further information or to discuss your personal circumstances in a private consultation, please contact Astons at [email protected] or call +44 207 292 2977