In less than 4 months the transition period will end and from 1st of January 2021 EU citizens who are not already in the UK will need immigration permission to live, work and study in the UK.
Stay in the UK: EU Settlement Scheme
EEA nationals and their family members who already in the UK are encouraged to make an application under the EU settlement scheme before the deadline 30th of June 2021. The scheme is designed to give an opportunity to the eligible applicants to protect their residence and rights in the UK.
The following people who are resident in the UK by the 31st of December 2020 can apply:
- EU citizens
- Citizens of Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland
- Swiss Citizens
- Eligible family members of the above-mentioned groups
- Eligible family members of British citizens who have exercised the treaty rights in another EEA country
Family members of the above who are not in the UK by the end of the transition period may be still eligible to come to the UK and apply for the EU settlement scheme however, they will need to demonstrate their relationship commenced before the 31st of December 2020.
There is no minimum requirement for time lived in the UK under the scheme; the applicant will only need to show he has been living at least one day in the UK in the last 6 months prior to the application. Based on how long they lived in the UK they may be granted settled or pre-settled status.
If the EEA national has lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period, they can be granted settled status which is the equivalent to indefinite leave to remain.
This means that the EEA nationals needs to demonstrate they had continuous residence in the UK for 5 years i.e they lived in the UK for at least 6 months in any 12 months period. There are a limited number of circumstances in which the applicant may be still eligible for settled status even if their residence was interrupted. If the reason of absences is serious, we invite the EEA national to contact us for an assessment of their circumstances.
If the applicant has been continuously employed or paid national insurance contributions through the years, they may no need to provide any supporting documents.
On the contrary, if the Home Office is unable to confirm the continuous residency through the automatic checks, the EEA national will need to provide supporting documents covering the qualifying period. Examples may include bank statements, official letters, council tax and utility bills etc.
The EEA nationals with Settles status may spend up to 5 years outside the UK without losing their status in the UK.
The EEA nationals who do not have 5 years of continuous residence will normally get the pre-settled status. To be granted the pre-settled status they will need to show they have living in the UK for at least one day. In certain circumstances, the flight ticket may suffice.
The pre-settled status is issued for 5 years and after 5 years of continuous residency the eligible EEA national can apply for settled status.
EEA nationals with pre-settled status can spend up to 5 years outside the UK without losing their status; however, if they do not meet the continuous residence requirement, they will lose their right for settlement under the scheme.
There will be no restrictions on living, working or studying in the UK for the EEA nationals with either settled or pre-settled status. We encourage the EEA nationals who have the intention to the UK soon, to do so before the 31st of December 2020 and to make an application under the scheme. From 1st of January 2021 everyone who intends to immigrate in the UK will require an immigration permission and the new point-based system will apply.