New Visa Requirements for EU Nationals in the UK Who Have Not Acquired Settled Status
The cut-off date of 30th June 2021 for applying for Settled Status under the EU Settlement Scheme has come and gone. If you are an EU national living in the UK and have not acquired Pre-Settled or Settled Status, it is important to understand your immigration options, including the visa requirements given your circumstances and those of your family members. The good news is that there are plenty of options available; the key knows which is best given your background and your future plans. In this article, we will outline the new visa requirements for EU nationals in the UK who have not acquired EU Settled Status.
Check if you can still apply for EU Settled Status
Before you go any further, if you previously lived in the UK before the end of 2020, we recommend checking if you can still apply for Pre-Settled or Settled Status. In a recent article, we wrote about exactly this question, explaining under which circumstances it is still possible to apply. In this article, we explained that while the EU Settlement Scheme is closed to new applications, it is still open for late applications and those who have Pre-Settled Status and are now eligible for Settled Status. Many people have valid grounds for late applications; these include:
- Where a parent or guardian applied for themselves and did not realise they needed to apply separately for their child
- Where an EU parent of a child born in the UK did not realise they needed to apply within three months of birth
- Due to physical or mental capacity and/or care or support needs
- A serious medical condition or had significant medical treatment – this may include where a person has been incapacitated in hospital with COVID-19
- Victims of modern slavery
- Being in an abusive or controlling/coercive relationship
- Other compelling or compassionate reasons.
If you need to check if you are still eligible to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, speak to an immigration Solicitor in the UK who will be able to advise you.
New visa requirements for EU nationals without Settled Status
Any EU national who has not lived in the UK before the end of 2020 or is not eligible for Settled Status or Indefinite Leave to Remain will now need a visa to live, work, or study in the UK. Here we will focus on the requirements for the Skilled Worker visa and the Student visa.
Skilled Worker Visa requirements
The Skilled Worker Visa is specifically for international workers who wish to work in the UK. Pre-2020, applicants needed to have a job requiring skills equivalent to degree level; however, this requirement was lower to A-Level (i.e. college level). This widened the range of eligible jobs open to Skilled Worker Visa applicants. To be eligible for a Skilled Worker Visa, applicants must:
- work for a sponsoring employer in the UK (the employer must be approved by the Home Office)
- have a ‘certificate of sponsorship’ from your employer with information about the role you’ve been offered in the UK
- do a job that’s on the list of eligible occupations
- be paid a minimum salary
- have sufficient understanding of the English language. If you are not from an eligible country that exempts you from these requirements, you will need to pass a test that shows you can read, write, speak and understand English to at least level B1 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) scale. The exempted countries are Antigua and Barbuda, Australia,
the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica
Malta, New Zealand, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, and the USA
The salary requirement for the Skilled Worker visa is either £25,600 or the going rate for the occupation. It may be possible to be paid a lower salary in certain circumstances, including if you have a PhD, if you are under 26, or if your job is on the shortage occupation list.
Student Visa requirements
In order to secure a Student Visa in the UK, you must:
- be 16 or over
- have been offered a place on a course by a licensed student sponsor
- have enough money to support yourself and pay for your course
- speak, read, write and understand English to a sufficient standard
- have consent from your parents if you’re 16 or 17 - you’ll need evidence of this when you apply
The English language requirement depends on the level at which you will be studying. Those studying at degree level or above need to be able to read, write, speak and understand English to level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR). Below this, level B1 is required.
The financial requirements for a student visa state that applicants must have sufficient money to support themselves while in the UK, as follows:
- £1,334 per month (for up to nine months) if you are studying in London
- £1,023 per month (for up to nine months) if you are studying outside London
The money must have been held by you for at least 28 days. In addition, if you are bringing your partner/spouse and/or children, you will need to show that you have enough money to support them too. An additional £845 if in London, or £680 if outside of London will be needed for each family member.
With the UK’s departure from the EU and the worst of COVID-19 (hopefully) in the past, there is considerable business optimism in the UK and a large number of job vacancies. If you were not able to take advantage of the EU Settlement Scheme, there are still many options available to EU nationals wishing to come to the UK to live, work, or study. If you are unsure of the best visa route for your situation, speak to specialist immigration lawyers in the UK, who will be able to explain your options and guide you through the process.