With UK now out of the EU, time is running out for those who wish to retain their right to live and work in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme.
An EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who was resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 has the right to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme until 30 June 2021.
If an application is successful, the individual will be granted either settled status or pre-settled status which will enable them to continue living and working in the UK after 30 June 2021.
An individual will usually get settled status if they were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 and have continuously lived in the UK for 5 years. An individual must evidence that they have spent no more than 6 months outside the UK in any 12 month period (save for certain exceptions including serious illness, work placement or study).
The 5 years’ continuous residence test may be met if an individual lived in the UK for 5 continuous years in the past and left the UK for no for more than 5 years in a row.
If an individual has settled status, they can remain and work in the UK for as long as they like (they will have indefinite leave to remain) and may even be able to apply for British citizenship if they are eligible (usually after 12 months once their settled status has been granted).
An individual who is resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 but who has not lived in the UK for 5 continuous years, will usually be granted pre-settled status. To be eligible for pre-settled status an individual needs to show that they have lived in the UK for at least 1 day on or before 31 December 2020 in the last 6 months before they apply.
That individual will then be able to stay in the UK for 5 years from the date they get pre-settled status (they will have limited leave to remain).
Once an individual with pre-settled status has 5 years’ continuous residence, but before their pre-settled status expires, they can apply for settled status. Pre-settled status cannot be extended.
Now or Never
The deadline for making an application under the EU Settlement Scheme is 30 June 2021. The Home Office will not accept applications submitted after this date unless there are exceptional circumstances. Failure to apply in time will result in an individual losing the right to live and work in the UK, unless an alternative visa is obtained.
This article is provided for general information only and is not intended to be nor should it be relied upon as legal advice in relation to any particular matter. If you require specific legal advice on any issue relating to immigration laws or the EU Settlement Scheme, we at Burlingtons Legal LLP will be able to assist. Please contact us on +44 (0)20 7529 5420 to arrange a consultation.