Immigration law specialists Optimus Law would like to highlight that with only two days to go until the end of the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS), time really is running out for applications to be made.
The Scheme allows all EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, resident in the UK by 31 December 2020, to secure their rights in UK law. The EEA includes the EU countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.
Applications for the Scheme close on Wednesday (June 30th), acceptance of which will allow applicable residents the right to work, study and access benefits and free healthcare in the UK after the deadline has passed.
An application must be made for every eligible child within a family. Parents should check if they need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme for their children, even if they have already applied and been granted a status themselves.
If an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and their family members have lived in the UK for many years or have a permanent residence document or EEA Biometric Residence Card (BRC), they still need to apply to the EUSS by 30 June 2021 to secure their existing rights in the UK.
Irish citizens and those with indefinite leave do not need to apply but may do so if they wish.
Successful applicants will be given either settled status or pre-settled status. They will not be asked to choose which they are applying for as the results depend on how long people have been living in the UK and when the application is made.
Settled status will usually be awarded if residents have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’) Five years’ continuous residence means that for five years in a row, applicants have been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least six months in any 12-month period.
People can stay in the UK as long as they like with settled status, and, if eligible, can apply for British Citizenship.
If applicants have not lived in the UK for five years in a row (known as ‘continuous residence’), they will usually get pre-settled status. They must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 unless they are applying as the existing close family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who started living here by then. They can stay in the UK for a further five years from the date they get pre-settled status.
Applicants can apply to switch to settled status as soon as they have had five years’ continuous residence. The five years is counted from the day they first arrived in the UK. They do not need to have held pre-settled status for five years to apply.
More details, together with some exceptions and further rules, can be found here.
Applications can be made at www.gov.uk/eusettlementscheme.