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EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS)

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) enables EU and EEA nationals living in the UK before the end of 2020 to gain settlement.

Contact our immigration lawyers for a free telephone consultation on 020 3744 2797 or complete our enquiry form to discuss your settled status or pre-settled status.

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What is the EU Settlement Scheme?

The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) enables EU and EEA nationals living in the UK before the end of 2020 to gain the right of residence. The scheme was put in place as a result of the departure of the UK from the EU and the ending of free movement. Applicants received either pre-settled status if they had been living in the UK for less than five years or full settled status if they had been living in the UK for five years or more. Settled status is equivalent to permanent residence, while pre-settled status enables applicants to remain in the UK for a further five years to meet the residence period to gain full settled status.

Is The EUSS Now Closed for Applications?

No! While there was a deadline for new applications of 30th June 2021, you will still be able to apply if you have pre-settled status and are now eligible for full settled status, or if you have a valid reason (also referred to as “reasonable grounds”) for making a late application. See below for more details on the reasonable reasons for making a late application to the EUSS.

If you were living in the UK before 31st December 2021 and have yet to apply to the EUSS, speak to one of our specialist immigration solicitors on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk, who will be able to explain how you can still make a successful EUSS application.

EU Settlement Scheme requirements

To make a successful application to the EUSS, you must be:

  • From the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and have started living in the UK by 31st December 2020, or;
  • A family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who started living in the UK by 31st December 2020

You may also be eligible under the EUSS if any of the following circumstances apply (please note this list is not exhaustive):

  • You had a family member in the past from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
  • You are a family member of a British national who you resided within the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
  • You are the family member of a British national who also is a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein.
  • You are the family member of a “frontier worker”.

See below for more details on applying as a family member under the EUSS.

EU Settlement Scheme required documents

Making a successful application to the EUSS is relatively straightforward. As such, you will not need to provide a large amount of evidence and documentation to support your case. You will need to provide proof of:

  • Your identity – this must be your passport or a biometric residence card or permit (this must not have expired)
  • Your continuous residence in the UK by 31st December 2020 – your UK national insurance number will typically be used to perform an automated check of your tax and other records to verify if you were living in the UK before the deadline. The home office will explain if any other documents are required to support your application, such as a rental agreement or utility bill, which shows you were living in the UK before this date.
  • Your relationship to your family member, and their eligibility or status under the EU settlement scheme, if you are applying to join or remain with them in the UK – this might include a birth, marriage or civil partnership certificate, or a UK residence card issued based on the relationship. Note - if you are planning to join a family member from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein in the UK, and you arrived here on or after 1st April 2021, the home office will also ask for evidence of your arrival in the UK (e.g. Travel tickets).
  • Why you were unable to make an application to the EUSS by the deadline of 30th June 2021 – such as a medical letter, court documents, or a letter from a charity or homeless shelter explaining your circumstances.

Pre-settled status and settled status

There are EUSS two statuses granted by the Home Office, depending on how long you have been living in the UK. If you have been here for less than 5 years, you will receive “pre-settled status”, meaning that you can stay for another 5 years to reach the 5-year residency threshold. Pre-settled status, therefore, does not confer the permanent right to reside in the UK, but it offers a bridge to get to full “settled status”, which will allow you to remain indefinitely. You will be granted settled status if you have already been in the UK for 5 years.

How to switch from pre-settled status to settled status

If you already hold pre-settled status under the EUSS, you will be able to apply for settled status after 5 years of continuous residence in the UK, the Channel Islands, or the Isle of Man before your pre-settled status expires. It is important to note that this five year period is from when you first arrived in the UK to when you apply.

To satisfy the continuous residence requirement for settled status, you must not have lived outside the UK for more than 6 months in any 1 year period.

The application process of switching from pre-settled to settled status involves the completion of an online application form, and there is no fee to apply. The rules state that you will still need to provide evidence of your eligibility (as listed above).

If your application is successful, you will receive an email with a letter confirming your new settled status.

If your application is not successful, speak to one of our specialist immigration Solicitors on 020 3744 2797 or by email at info@reissedwards.co.uk, who will be able to recommend the best steps to take.

Applying to the EUSS after 30th June 2021

You will be able to apply to the EUSS after 30th June 2021 if:

  • You have reasonable grounds for making a late application (see below).
  • You are a family member of someone from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who was living here by 31st December 2020, and you joined them in the UK on or after 1st April 2021 (you have 90 days to apply from when you arrive in the UK).
  • You are applying for your child, who was born or adopted in the UK on or after 1st April 2021 (you have 90 days from when they were born or adopted to apply to the EUSS).
  • You are a family member of an eligible person of northern Ireland, but they could not move back to the UK by 31st December 2020 without you - you must be from outside the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland Or Liechtenstein (you have 90 days to apply from when you arrive in the UK).
  • You are here with limited leave to enter or remain in the UK (e.g. On a work or study visa), which expires after 30th June 2021 (you must apply before your leave expires)
  • You are a family member of a British citizen who you lived within the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein – in this case, you must have lived with them in that country by 30th December 2020 and returned to the UK with them (you must apply by 29th march 2022).

If you’re exempt from immigration control, you do not have to apply to the scheme, however, you can do so at any time if you wish to.

Reasonable grounds for making a late application

While applications are still open under the EUSS, it is important to understand that it will be incumbent on the applicant to prove and satisfy the Home Office that they had a genuine reason for applying late. In practice, this means that the longer the gap between the 30th June 2021 and the application, the more compelling the case will need to be.

UKVI states on this matter, “In all cases, the relevant test is whether there are reasonable grounds for the person’s failure to meet the deadline applicable to them under the EU Settlement Scheme. In general, the more time which has elapsed since the deadline applicable to the person under the scheme, the harder it will be for them to satisfy you that, at the date of application, there are reasonable grounds for their failure to meet that deadline”.

This does not apply, for example, where an applicant can show that an application to the EUSS was not made on their behalf where it should have been; for example, if a parent, guardian, or local authority did not apply for a child for whom they are responsible.

Some of the other possible valid grounds for a late application to the EUSS 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 practical or compassionate reasons, including:
  • A lack of permanent accommodation, which meant that they did not have access to a computer or to the documents required to make an application
  • Complex needs and were not aware of the support available to help them apply
  • They were hampered in accessing the support available to help

EU settlement scheme for your child

Your child will also be able to apply under the EUSS if they are eligible. The rules state that each child must have their own application made; this means you can apply for your child on their behalf, or they can apply for themselves if they are able to do so.

Requirements for your child

To make an application to the EUSS, your child must be:

  • Under 21
  • From the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein - or if you, your spouse or civil partner are

In addition, they must have been born or adopted in the UK, or joined you here, either:

  • On or after 1st April 2021
  • Before 1st April 2021 – in this case, you will be able to apply for them if you did not know that they needed to apply to the scheme - this will be considered as “reasonable grounds” for not applying by the deadline
  • If your child was born in the UK but is not a British citizen, they will still need to apply.

Documents needed for your child

To apply to the EUSS for your child, you will need to provide evidence of:

  • Your child’s identity – e.g. A passport or biometric residence card (if it has not expired)
  • Your relationship to your child – e.g. Birth certificate
  • When you started living in the UK, if you have not applied to the scheme
  • When your child was born or adopted, if this was on or after 1st April 2021 – e.g. A birth certificate or adoption order
  • When your child started living here, if they started living in the UK by 31st December 2020
  • Your child’s continuous residence

EU settlement scheme for non-EU family members

Non-EU and non-EEA family members are able to apply under the EUSS scheme if they have a family member (i.e. you are their spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, child, grandchild or great-grandchild) who is from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and all of the following are true:

  • The family member started living in the UK by 31st December 2020
  • The family member has settled or pre-settled status, they have applied to the EUSS scheme, they are waiting for a decision, or they are eligible for settled or pre-settled status
  • You are joining them in the UK on or after 1 April 2021

You will also be able to apply to the EUSS if you have any of the following types of family relationship:

  • had a family member in the past from the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein who started living in the UK by 31st December 2020 – but have now separated, that person died, or the family relationship has broken down.
  • are a family member of a British national who you resided with in the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein – to be eligible for the EUSS, they must have lived with that person by 31st December 2020 in the EU/EEA and subsequently come back to the UK with that person before applying.
  • are the family member of a British national who also is a citizen of an EU country, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein, and they lived in the UK as a citizen of one of these countries before getting British citizenship.
  • are the family member of a “frontier worker”.

Please note, this list of family members eligible for the EUSS is not exhaustive. To verify if you are eligible, speak to our immigration lawyers on 020 3744 2797.


Reference:

GOV.UK: Apply to the EU Settlement Scheme (settled and pre-settled status)

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