EU Settlement Scheme: Family Permit For Non-EEA Family Members
With the deadline rapidly approaching for EEA citizens currently residing in the UK to settle their status, there is also the knock-on effect that the deadline will have on those who are not EEA citizens but could settle in the UK due to having an EEA relative. With this window rapidly closing, we will look at your options if you are not an EEA citizen but have an EEA citizen who is a relative, and how you can use the EU Settlement Scheme to cement your own longterm stay in the UK.
Which Non-EEA Family Members Are Eligible To Apply To The EU Settlement Scheme?
In order to be eligible to use the EU Settlement Scheme as a non-EEA citizen, you will need to have a relative who is either a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen themselves or is in a relationship with one. To apply, you will generally need to be added as a family member to their application to settle, though it may well be possible to apply separately using the online service (depending on your circumstances). In order to be considered, you will need to be related to a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen or their EEA spouse visa, civil partner or unmarried partner in one of the following relationships:
- Child, grandchild or great-grandchild under the age of 21
- A dependent child over the age of 21
- A dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent
- A dependent relative
You will also be able to apply to the scheme if you are related to a British citizen and have lived outside of the UK in an EEA country, though you cannot use the online service to apply in this instance, and may need to consult an immigration solicitor such as ourselves to ensure eligibility. You are also able to apply if you are related to an Irish citizen, but it is unlikely that they will need to apply due to the specialised rules that exist between the UK and Ireland.
I Divorced An EEA Citizen While Living In The UK, Can I Apply To The Scheme?
Another option that is open to non-EEA citizens under the EU Settlement Scheme is where the proposed applicant has been in either a marriage or civil partnership with an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen. As long as at least one of the following criteria are met, you will be able to make an application:
- The marriage / Civil Partnership must have lasted for at least 3 years, at least 1 year of which must have been with both of you living in the UK
- You have custody of any children from the relationship
- You have been given access rights to the child/children from the relationship
- You have the right to live in the UK due to domestic abuse in the relationship
Due to the potentially complicated process involved in settling via this route, you will likely need some advice before submitting an application, call us today and speak to our expert team who can help you to gather all of the evidence that you need to make a successful application to settle in the UK using the EU Settlement Scheme.
My Relative Died While I Lived With Them In The UK, Do I Have The Option To Apply?
If they were a British, EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and you lived with them for more than 1 year in the UK then it is likely that you will be able to use this relationship to gain so-called "retained rights of residence". This retained right is applied in much the same way as in the example above and will demand that you are able to prove your relationship in the UK. You will be able to use the online service to apply, but will likely be asked to provide substantial evidence to prove your relationship in order to execute your rights. In this instance, it may be very useful to use a service such as ours to help make the process easy and straightforward.
You may also be able to claim a retained right to reside in the UK if one of your relatives dies while you are studying in the UK. As long as you are related to an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen who recently died and you are studying in the UK, you may be able to apply. Under this route, it does not matter if they were in the UK when they died, as long as they had spent some time in the UK. If you are unsure of your rights, call today and speak to us about your rights if you are studying in the UK and have recently lost a loved one who was an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.
What Is The Deadline To Apply To The EU Settlement Scheme?
As long as the UK leaves the European Union with a trade deal, the EU Settlement Scheme will have a deadline of the 30th of June 2021 for applications. This could be heavily shortened if the UK leaves without a deal, so it is probably best to settle (or pre-settle) your status as early as possible.
If you still haven't come to the UK, you will need to do so soon in order to be eligible to apply to pre-settle in the UK. Currently, the deadline for arriving in the UK is the 31st of December 2020, but again this could be shortened if Britain leaves the European Union without a deal. In all circumstances, we would suggest you are best off applying as early as possible to avoid potential issues down the road.
Getting More Help With The EU settlement Scheme
If you need help with settling your status in the UK then we are here to help. Our immigration lawyers are keeping up to date with all of the developments of Brexit to ensure that our clients receive the most appropriate advice. So for more advice or help, call today for a free, no-obligation consultation, and take your first step to settle in the UK for the long-term.
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