The Government has published further details of the proposed EU Settlement Scheme which will allow EU citizens and family members to apply for UK immigration status to protect their position in the UK post-Brexit. The scheme encompasses two new applications:
- A pre-settlement application – limited leave to remain will be granted for up to five years, after which time the individual will be eligible to make a settlement application.
- A settlement application – indefinite leave to remain will be granted, once an applicant can demonstrate continuous residence in the UK for five years.
To be eligible, applicants must meet the following key criteria:
- EU citizens must have arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020 (the end of the proposed transitional period). Close family members who live overseas can join the EU resident after this date, provided the relationship existed on 31 December 2020 and continues to exist when the family member wishes to come to the UK.
- Continuous residence in the UK:
For applicants who have been in the UK for less than five years, they must not have been absent from the UK for longer than six months in any 12 month period.
For applicants with more than five years residence in the UK, they must not have been absent in the UK for more than five years since completing that period of five years’ continuous residence.
3.Applicants will need to provide evidence of their nationality and identity.
4.The Home Office will run criminal record checks as part of the application process.
How and when should I apply?
Settled status will not be granted automatically, it must be applied for. Online applications will be phased in from late 2018/early 2019. Every EU national and their family must make an application before the deadline of 30 June 2021 as it will be mandatory to hold UK immigration status by 1 July 2021.
How much will it cost?
Free for those already holding permanent residence or have indefinite leave to remain, otherwise a charge (adults: £65 and children under 16: £32.50).