The EU Settlement Scheme must be implemented in strict accordance with the terms of the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement. You have to apply by 30 June 2021 if you and your family have been resident in the UK before 31 December 2020 and intend to stay. Although the general rule is that all EU citizens and family members need to apply to the EU settlement scheme, there are a small number of exceptions to those who need to apply which have been set out below. It is free to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.
The requirements of the EU Settlement Scheme are mainly residence based: the Home Office will check how long you have been in the UK and not what you have been doing here. Therefore, being granted settled status or pre-settled status is not dependent on your employment, whether or not you receive benefits or hold private health insurance (Comprehensive Sickness Health Insurance).
To be considered “continuously resident” in the UK you must meet the conditions which we have set out in . Depending on your length of continuous UK residence you should granted either settled status or pre-settled status:
- Most EU citizens and their family members who have been continuously resident in the UK for at least 5 years should get settled status.
- Those who have lived in the UK for less than 5 years will have to apply for temporary pre-settled status. This will allow them to stay in the UK and make a second application for settled status once they achieve 5-years continuous UK residence.
Those applying for settled status or pre-settled status must also prove their nationality and identity and if over 18 years old, subject themselves to a criminality check. If you are not from an EU country but are the family member of an EU citizen, then you will need to evidence your relationship to an EU citizen in your application to show that you qualify. In some cases where your relationship with the EU citizen has ended you can still qualify; this may also be the case if you are the primary carer of an EU child or the child of an EU citizen in education.
Even if you already have a UK issued EU Permanent Residence Document or EU Permanent Residence Card (commonly known as “PR” document/card) you must apply for settled status as your PR document/card will become invalid for living in the UK after 30 June 2021.
Irish citizens or persons who already hold valid “Indefinite Leave to Remain” or “Indefinite Leave to Enter” (ILR or ILE) immigration status are not required to apply, but can do so if they wish. It can be complicated to know if a person’s ILR or ILE remains valid and therefore, holders of these immigration statuses are encouraged to apply. Dual British/EU citizens cannot apply as they are able to live in the UK after Brexit based on their British nationality; in some cases Dual British/EU citizens can sponsor family members under the EU Settlement Scheme.
Please be aware that children born in the UK are not always born British citizens and so it is important you check the position for any children you have. It may be that your children born in the UK are British from birth and can apply for a British passport, but please do not assume this is the case and it maybe you need to speak to a qualified adviser about your children’s situation. Children who are not British or Irish nationality must make an individual application to the EU settlement scheme just like adults do. You cannot add a child’s details to a parent’s application, but you can link a child’s application to a parent’s application if either parent has applied to the EU settlement scheme first.
Deadline: Applications to the EU settlement scheme must be made by 30 June 2021. If an application is refused before this date, there is the option to re-apply any number of times to remedy the issue. Alternatively, for applications made from 01 February 2020 onwards that are refused, there is right of appeal to an independent immigration judge. If your application is refused after 30 June 2021 you may not be able to re-apply and in which case you would need to appeal the decision.