EU Settlement Scheme: What You Need to Know

Understanding the EU Settlement Scheme

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen living in the UK, you may need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) to continue living in the UK after Brexit. The EUSS is a government program that allows eligible citizens to apply for settled or pre-settled status, depending on how long they have been living in the UK.

The EUSS was launched in March 2019 and has been open to the public since then. The scheme was designed to make it easy for eligible citizens to apply for settled or pre-settled status. However, there have been concerns about the scheme’s effectiveness, and some people may fall through the cracks.

The EUSS deadline was June 30, 2021. However, the government has extended the deadline to September 30, 2021, for those who have “reasonable grounds” for missing the original deadline.

To apply for the EUSS, you need to provide proof of your identity, residence, and relationship to any family members who are also applying. You can apply online or by post, and the application is free.

If you have lived in the UK for five years or more, you can apply for settled status. If you have lived in the UK for less than five years, you can apply for pre-settled status. Pre-settled status gives you the right to stay in the UK for up to five years, after which you can apply for settled status.

The EUSS is administered by the Home Office, and there have been concerns about the scheme’s effectiveness. Some people may miss the deadline, and there is no reliable way of knowing how many. Additionally, some people may not fully understand the scheme, and there have been concerns about the hostile environment created by the government’s immigration policies.

Brexit has had a significant impact on the lives of EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens living in the UK. The EUSS was designed to provide some certainty for eligible citizens, but there have been concerns about the scheme’s effectiveness. The withdrawal agreement between the UK and the EU provides some protections for eligible citizens, but there is still uncertainty about the future.

Eligibility Criteria

To apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. In this section, we will outline the criteria for EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens, as well as their family members.

EU, EEA and Swiss Citizens

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you:

  • are living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • have been living in the UK continuously for at least 5 years (known as ‘continuous residence’)
  • started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and you have a ‘relevant relationship’ with an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who was living in the UK by this date and who meets the continuous residence requirement

Family Members

If you are a family member of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, you can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you:

  • are living in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • have a ‘relevant relationship’ with an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who was living in the UK by this date and who meets the continuous residence requirement
  • started living in the UK by 31 December 2020, and you have a ‘relevant relationship’ with an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who started living in the UK by this date and who would meet the continuous residence requirement if they had been living in the UK for 5 years

If you are the family member of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen who is a British citizen or has indefinite leave to remain, you can still apply to the EU Settlement Scheme if you meet the eligibility criteria.

It is important to note that family members include spouses or civil partners, children, grandchildren, parents, and grandparents. You can also apply if you are the dependent relative of an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen.

To apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to provide evidence of your relationship with the EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, as well as evidence of your identity and immigration status.

Application Process

To apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, you can choose between two methods: online application or paper application.

Online Application

To apply online, you need to create an account on the official government website and complete the application form. You will need to provide evidence of your identity, nationality, and residence in the UK. You may also need to provide evidence of your relationship with any family members who are also applying.

During the application process, you will be asked to confirm your National Insurance number and answer some questions about your criminal record, if applicable. After you submit your application, you will receive an email confirming that your application has been received. You can then track the progress of your application online.

Paper Application

If you prefer to apply by paper form, you can request a form by calling the EU Settlement Resolution Centre. You will need to complete the form and send it along with any required evidence to the address provided on the form.

It is important to note that the deadline for applications is June 30, 2021. Late applications may be accepted if you have reasonable grounds for missing the deadline, such as serious illness or a natural disaster. However, it is best to apply as soon as possible to avoid any delays or complications.

In conclusion, applying for the EU Settlement Scheme requires providing evidence of your identity, nationality, and residence in the UK. You can choose between an online application or a paper application, and it is important to apply before the deadline.

Settled and Pre-Settled Status

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is a program designed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK after Brexit. Under the scheme, eligible individuals can apply for settled or pre-settled status, depending on their circumstances.

Understanding Settled Status

Settled status is granted to EU citizens who have been living in the UK for at least five years. With settled status, you have the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely, as well as access to public funds and other benefits. You can also apply for British citizenship after holding settled status for at least one year.

To be eligible for settled status, you must have been continuously resident in the UK for at least five years. This means that you have not been absent from the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period. If you have been absent for more than six months but less than 12 months, you may still be eligible for settled status if you have a “compelling reason” for your absence.

Understanding Pre-Settled Status

Pre-settled status is granted to EU citizens who have been living in the UK for less than five years. With pre-settled status, you have the right to live and work in the UK for up to five years. After five years, you can apply for settled status.

To be eligible for pre-settled status, you must have been living in the UK before December 31, 2020. You must also be able to prove your identity and nationality, as well as provide evidence of your residence in the UK. You can apply for pre-settled status even if you have not been continuously resident in the UK for the past five years.

If you are granted pre-settled status, you will need to apply for settled status before your pre-settled status expires. To be eligible for settled status, you must have been continuously resident in the UK for at least five years.

Rights and Entitlements

Both settled and pre-settled status give you the right to work, rent, study, and access public funds and other benefits in the UK. However, you may need to meet certain eligibility requirements for specific benefits.

With settled status, you also have the right to apply for indefinite leave to remain (ILR) after holding settled status for at least one year. ILR gives you the right to live and work in the UK indefinitely, as well as access to public funds and other benefits.

To be eligible for ILR, you must have been continuously resident in the UK for at least five years. You must also meet certain eligibility requirements, such as passing the Life in the UK test and meeting the English language requirements.

Continuous Residence

To maintain your settled or pre-settled status, you must be continuously resident in the UK. This means that you cannot be absent from the UK for more than six months in any 12-month period. If you are absent from the UK for more than six months but less than 12 months, you may still be eligible for settled or pre-settled status if you have a compelling reason for your absence.

If you are absent from the UK for more than 12 months, your settled or pre-settled status may be revoked.

Conclusion

The EU Settlement Scheme is designed to protect the rights of EU citizens and their family members living in the UK after Brexit. With settled or pre-settled status, you have the right to live and work in the UK, as well as access to public funds and other benefits. To maintain your status, you must be continuously resident in the UK and meet certain eligibility requirements.

Biometric Residence

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you can apply for the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK after June 30, 2021. As part of the application process, you may need to provide proof of your identity and your right to live in the UK. One of the documents that you may need to provide is a biometric residence document.

Biometric Residence Permit

A biometric residence permit (BRP) is a document that contains your personal details, biometric information, and immigration status. It is a credit card-sized card that contains a microchip with your fingerprints and a digital photograph. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need to apply for a BRP if you are granted pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

Biometric Residence Card

A biometric residence card (BRC) is a document that contains your personal details, biometric information, and immigration status. It is a credit card-sized card that contains a microchip with your fingerprints and a digital photograph. If you are a non-EEA family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need to apply for a BRC if you are granted pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

The main difference between a BRP and a BRC is that a BRP is issued to EU, EEA or Swiss nationals, while a BRC is issued to non-EEA family members of EU, EEA or Swiss nationals. Both documents are valid for five years and can be used to prove your identity and your right to live and work in the UK.

If you already have a valid EEA biometric residence card, you do not need to apply for a BRP or a BRC. Your EEA biometric residence card will remain valid until it expires or until you are granted settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme.

In summary, a biometric residence document is a document that contains your personal details, biometric information, and immigration status. If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss national, you may need to apply for a BRP, while non-EEA family members of EU, EEA or Swiss nationals may need to apply for a BRC. Both documents are valid for five years and can be used to prove your identity and your right to live and work in the UK.

Rights and Benefits

If you are an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen residing in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. This will grant you certain rights and benefits, including:

Work and Study Rights

With settled or pre-settled status, you will have the right to work and study in the UK. You will not need a visa to work or study, and you will be able to access the same employment and education opportunities as UK citizens. You can also continue to work and study while your application for settled or pre-settled status is being processed.

Access to Public Services

As an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen with settled or pre-settled status, you will continue to have access to public services in the UK, including healthcare through the National Health Service (NHS). You will be able to access hospital treatment and other healthcare services on the same basis as UK citizens. You will also be able to access other public services provided by your local council, such as social housing and education.

Travel Rights

With settled or pre-settled status, you will be able to travel freely in and out of the UK. You will be able to use your passport or national identity card to enter the UK until at least 2025. After that date, you may need to apply for a visa to enter the UK for visits longer than 6 months.

It is important to note that you will not be able to access certain public funds, such as Universal Credit, until you have been granted settled status. If you encounter any issues with your rights or benefits under the EU Settlement Scheme, you can contact the Resolution Centre for assistance.

Additionally, it is illegal for anyone to discriminate against you based on your nationality or immigration status. If you experience discrimination, you can seek legal advice and take action to protect your rights.

Support and Assistance

If you need help with the EU Settlement Scheme, there are several sources of support and assistance available to you. In this section, we will discuss some of the most common types of support and assistance that you can access.

Assisted Digital Service

The Assisted Digital Service is available to help people who may have difficulty using a computer or the internet. If you need help with the online application process, you can get assistance over the phone or in person at a location near you. To use this service, you will need to provide your contact details and explain why you need help.

If you have questions about your rights under the EU Settlement Scheme, or if you need help with your application, you may want to seek legal advice. Immigration law can be complex, and it is important to get accurate information to avoid making mistakes that could affect your eligibility. There are many lawyers and law firms that specialize in immigration law, and you can find one near you by searching online or asking for recommendations.

Charitable Organizations

There are several charitable organizations that offer support and assistance to EU citizens who are applying for settled or pre-settled status. These organizations may be able to provide advice on the application process, help you gather the necessary documents, or offer emotional support during a stressful time. Some organizations may also be able to provide financial assistance to cover the cost of the application fee or other expenses related to the application process.

It is important to note that these organizations are not affiliated with the UK government, and their services may vary. You should research any organization before seeking their assistance, and make sure that they are reputable and reliable.

In conclusion, there are several sources of support and assistance available to help you with the EU Settlement Scheme. Whether you need help with the online application process, legal advice, or emotional support, there are resources available to help you through this process.

Post Application Process

After submitting your application for the EU Settlement Scheme, you will receive a decision from the Home Office. This section will cover what happens after you receive your decision.

Decision Making

If your application is successful, you will be granted either settled or pre-settled status. Settled status means that you can stay in the UK indefinitely, while pre-settled status means that you can stay for up to five years. If you are granted pre-settled status, you can apply for settled status once you have lived in the UK for five years.

If your application is unsuccessful, you may be able to apply for administrative review or appeal the decision. You should receive information on how to do this with your decision letter.

Retrospective Checks

The Home Office may conduct retrospective checks on your application to ensure that the information you provided is accurate. These checks may take place after you have been granted settled or pre-settled status.

If the Home Office finds that you provided false or misleading information, your status may be revoked. If this happens, you may be able to apply for administrative review or appeal the decision.

Expired Status

If you are granted pre-settled status, it is important to remember that your status will expire after five years. You will need to apply for settled status before your pre-settled status expires if you want to stay in the UK.

If your settled status expires, you may be able to apply for British citizenship. You should check the eligibility requirements for British citizenship before applying.

Remember to keep your certificate of application safe, as you may need this if there are any issues with your application or decision. If you have children or parents who are EU, EEA or Swiss citizens, they will also need to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme.

Responsibilities of Landlords and Employers

As a landlord or employer in the UK, you have certain responsibilities when it comes to the EU Settlement Scheme. It is important to understand these responsibilities to ensure that you are complying with the law and protecting the rights of your tenants and employees.

Landlords

If you are a landlord in England, you are required to check the immigration status of your tenants before renting out your property. This means that you must ensure that your tenants have the right to rent in the UK. If your tenant is an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, they may have applied for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. You can check their status online using the government’s Landlord Checking Service.

If you fail to carry out the necessary checks and rent out your property to someone who does not have the right to rent in the UK, you may face a civil penalty of up to £3,000 per tenant. It is therefore important to ensure that you are carrying out the necessary checks and keeping records of these checks.

Employers

As an employer in the UK, you have a responsibility to ensure that your employees have the right to work in the UK. This means that you must carry out the necessary checks to ensure that your employees are eligible to work in the UK. If your employee is an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, they may have applied for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme. You can check their status online using the government’s Employer Checking Service.

If you fail to carry out the necessary checks and employ someone who does not have the right to work in the UK, you may face a civil penalty of up to £20,000 per illegal worker. It is therefore important to ensure that you are carrying out the necessary checks and keeping records of these checks.

In addition, you should ensure that you are not discriminating against EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens when it comes to recruitment or employment. You should treat all employees equally and fairly, regardless of their nationality.

It is important to note that the EU Settlement Scheme does not apply to the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. If you are an employer or landlord in these areas, you should seek further advice on your responsibilities.

Overall, it is important to ensure that you are complying with the law and carrying out the necessary checks to protect the rights of your tenants and employees.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for settled status in the UK?

To apply for settled status in the UK, you need to complete an online application form. You will need to provide proof of your identity, residence in the UK, and relationship to any family members who are also applying. The application is free, and you can apply from any device with an internet connection.

What is the eligibility criteria for the EU Settlement Scheme?

To be eligible for the EU Settlement Scheme, you need to be an EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen, or a family member of one. You must also have been living in the UK before 31 December 2020, or have a valid reason for arriving after that date. You will need to demonstrate that you meet the eligibility criteria by providing evidence of your identity, residence, and relationship to any family members who are also applying.

What is the difference between pre-settled and settled status?

Pre-settled status is granted to those who have not lived in the UK for five continuous years. It allows you to stay in the UK for up to five years and apply for settled status once you have completed five years of continuous residence. Settled status is granted to those who have lived in the UK for five continuous years or more. It allows you to stay in the UK indefinitely, work, study, and access public services.

How can family members of an EU citizen apply for pre-settled status?

Family members of an EU citizen can apply for pre-settled status if they arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020. They will need to provide evidence of their relationship to the EU citizen and evidence of their own identity and residence in the UK.

What is the duration of stay allowed under the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme allows you to stay in the UK indefinitely if you are granted settled status. If you are granted pre-settled status, you can stay in the UK for up to five years. After five years, you can apply for settled status.

What is the contact number for the UK Settlement Scheme?

You can contact the UK Settlement Scheme by calling the following number: 0300 123 7379. The phone line is open Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm.

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