Have you submitted your application for EU settlement status? Back in February I blogged about various Brexit news updates and touched briefly on the topic of EU settlement status with a mini fact overview, you can see the blog here.
We are now more than halfway through the year and as so much has happened I thought perhaps it was time we did a little Brexit deadline check in.
2020 has turned out to be the year of unpredictability’s, none of us could have foreseen how the year was going to go but despite other topics dominating the news it doesn't mean that Brexit has gone away, quite the opposite in fact, we are very quickly speeding towards various Brexit deadlines including the EU settlement status June 2021 application deadline.
EU settlement status – Does this apply to me?
If you are a British or Irish citizen, if you are working in the UK but do not live here (‘frontier worker’) or if you are exempt from immigration control, this blog doesn't really apply to you. While you are welcome to stick around and read on with us, why not instead go and check out some of our other great blogs such as this one giving a sneak peek at 10,000 new job opportunities becoming available.
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or your family member is, and you have not yet applied for your EU settlement status, this blog is definitely for you. With so much information about EU settlement status available online, it can all seem a little overwhelming. Once you get started you will notice that it is a relatively straight forward process, it just seems a little daunting at first.
It is so frustrating when things are made to look a lot more complicated than they really are, so to help you get prepared and submit your application well ahead of time with the minimum of fuss, I have gathered all the important information into one place. Keep reading to find what you need to know, what you need to do and how to get your application in well before the deadline.
EU settlement status - What is it?
The EU settlement scheme, also known as 'settled status' replaced the EU’s permanent residence system after the UK opted to leave the EU. It grants residence and social security rights in the UK to citizens from the European Union (EU), Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Switzerland, and their qualifying family members.
There are two types of EU settlement status:
- Settled status - this means you can stay in the UK as long as you like and you will be able to apply for British citizenship if you’re eligible.
- Pre-settled status - this means you can stay in the UK for a further 5 years from the date you get your pre-settled status awarded. After which you could reapply for settled status.
You cannot request a particular status when you apply, the status you get will depend on how long you’ve been living in the UK when you apply.
With either status you will be able to:
- work in the UK
- use the NHS for free
- enrol in education or continue studying
- access public funds such as benefits and pensions, if you’re eligible for them
- travel in and out of the UK
To request your EU Settlement status, apply using the government website here.
EU settlement status - Who needs to apply?
You need to apply for EU settlement status if you fall under either of the following two categories:
- You are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- You are not an EU, EAA or Swiss citizen but your family member is. (The EEA includes the EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.)
You DO NOT need to apply if:
- You are a British or Irish citizenship (including ‘dual citizenship’) you can check if you are a British citizen if you’re not sure here.
- If you work in the UK but do not live here (‘frontier worker’)
- If you’re exempt from immigration control ie:
- a foreign diplomat posted in the UK
- a member of NATO
- If you have indefinite leave to enter the UK (You will have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office. You could also have a ‘vignette’ (sticker) or a biometric residence permit.)
- If you have indefinite leave to remain in the UK (You will usually have a stamp in your passport or a letter from the Home Office saying this.)
This means you DO still need to apply even if you:
- were born in the UK but are not a British citizen - you can check if you’re a British citizen if you’re not sure
- have a UK permanent residence document
- are a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who does not need to apply - including if they’re from Ireland
- are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen with a British citizen family member
You may be able to apply if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen if any of the following apply to you:
- you used to have an EU, EEA or Swiss family member living in the UK
- you’re the family member of a British citizen and you lived outside the UK in an EEA country together
- you are the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
- you are the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- you are the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK
To request your EU settlement status, apply using the government website here.
EU settlement status - When do you need to apply?
There has been a little bit of confusion on this. The application deadline for EU settlement status is 30 June 2021, and NOT 31st December 2020 like many people think.
You DO need to be a resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 but you DO NOT need to have applied for EU settlement status by then.
So, just to confirm; Providing you are a resident in the UK by 31st December 2020, the rights you have will continue right up until 30 June 2021, with, or without submitting an EU settlement status application. After 30 June 2021, to have residence and social security rights in the UK you must have applied for and been granted EU settlement status.
The application scheme is already open and you can apply now so regardless of the deadline, don't leave it until the last minute, get started now and breathe a sigh of relief knowing it is done.
EU settlement status - How much does it cost to apply?
It’s free to apply for EU settlement status, at no time should you be asked to pay a fee. Protect yourself by always keeping official documents and passports in your own possession and where possible (unless you have a charitable organisation or council scheme helping you) always process your own EU settlement status application through the official government website.
EU settlement status - How do you apply
To request your EU settlement status, apply using the government website here. You can apply using any device.
It is taking longer than usual to process applications because of coronavirus (COVID-19) but this shouldn't deter you from putting your own application in as soon as possible, the sooner your application is done the more time the government have to process it for you.
EU Settlement status - What do you need when you apply?
When you apply for your EU settlement status, you will need a few different documents:
- Proof of your identity which can be a valid passport or a national identity card.
- A digital photo of your face.
- Proof of your residence within the UK. You can give your National Insurance number to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records. If you have a valid permanent residence document or valid indefinite leave to remain in or enter the UK, you will not need to prove your residence. A valid permanent residence document will be either:
- a certificate inside your blue ‘residence documentation’ booklet (or pink if you’re a Swiss national)
- a certificate inside your passport
- or a biometric residence card confirming permanent residence (only if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen)
If you do not have any of these, you may be able to use other evidence, but you will need to contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre to find out what documents you could use. The Home Office will tell you immediately after you apply if you need to provide any further documents and where to post them.
EU settlement status - How to provide your documents
When you apply, you can either:
- scan your document and upload your photo using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app using an Android phone, or an iPhone 7 or above
- send your document in the post and upload your photo using the online application (you can take this yourself)
You can only scan your documents using a phone if you are using one of the following to prove your identity:
- a valid EU, EEA or Swiss passport or ID card, if it’s biometric
- a UK-issued biometric residence card
You must send your document by post if you are using any of the following to prove your identity:
- non-EU or EEA passport
- biometric residence permit
- non-biometric ID card
The Home Office will tell you immediately after you apply where to post your documents to.
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19) it may take longer than usual to return documents. If you need your documents back by a specific date for example, if you’re going on holiday soon, it would be best if you apply when you come back.
You cannot use the online service to apply to the scheme if you’re not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you’re applying as:
- the family member of a British citizen you lived with in Switzerland or an EU or EEA country
- the family member of a British citizen who also has EU, EEA or Swiss citizenship and who lived in the UK as an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen before getting British citizenship
- the primary carer of a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen
- the child of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who used to live and work in the UK, and you’re in education - or you’re the child’s primary carer
In this instance, you will need to contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre to find out how to apply.
EU settlement status - Proving your settled status
After you’ve applied for EU settlement status, the Home Office will email you a letter to tell you what status they’ve given you. This is known as your decision letter. After you get your decision letter, you can view your pre-settled or settled status online here.
If you’re from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will not get a card showing your pre-settled or settled status - your status will only be available to view online. Your decision letter should not be used as proof of your status. If you need to show someone your status, you can get a share code here.
EU settlement status - If your application is unsuccessful
If your application is unsuccessful you can apply again at any time up until 30 June 2021. You might want to do this if you think the decision you have been given should have been different, for example you got pre-settled status but expected to get settled status, there is no charge for making another application.
If you think there has been a mistake and you do not want to re-apply you may be able to request an administrative review of your application. You can find out more about this here.
It costs £80 for an administrative review but you will get your money back if the original decision is changed because of an error on their part. It is important to understand that you will not get your money back if the decision is changed because you provided new evidence that you didn't submit before, so if you have new evidence to submit, a fresh application is probably the best approach.
If necessary, you can also make an appeal to an independent tribunal, but you can only appeal applications made after 11pm on 31 January 2020.
Ready to apply?
There you have it, the EU settlement status application process in one easy to understand, easy to follow format. So, what are you waiting for? Get your application started today.
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