With Brexit moving a step closer this week, now is the time for any EU citizens who wish to continue living and working in the UK, to start the application process for Settled or Pre-Settled status.
EU, EEA* and Swiss citizens, can now apply free of charge to the EU Settlement Scheme for themselves and their families to continue living in the UK after 30 June 2021. If their application is successful, they will get either “Settled” or “Pre-settled” Status, enabling them to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
*The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Application deadline If the UK leaves the EU without a deal, the deadline for applying will be 31st December 2020.
Settled status will usually be granted if someone:
- started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by the date the UK leaves the EU without a deal)
- lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’)
Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row, the individual has been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. Exceptions to this can be found on the Government website: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families
Those who are granted settled status will be able to stay in the UK as long as they like and if eligible, will also be able to apply for British Citizenship.
If an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen does not have 5 years’ continuous residence when they apply, they will usually be given pre-settled status. In order to qualify for this, an individual must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 (or by the date the UK leaves the EU without a deal).
Those with pre-settled status can then apply to change this to settled status once they have 5 years’ continuous residence. Applications must be submitted before pre-settled status expires.
If an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen reaches 5 years’ continuous residence at some point by 31 December 2020, they can choose to wait to apply until they have reached 5 years’ continuous residence. This means that if their application is successful, they will get settled status without having to apply for pre-settled status first.
EU, EEA and Swiss citizen can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date they get pre-settled status.
Further information and the application process can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families