EU Settled Status

After Brexit, several things are changing and may continue to change. So, what about EU citizens living in the UK without a restriction earlier? What will change for them? Well, if you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen then you can continue living in the UK after 30th June 2021 by applying for EU settlement scheme provided there is a deal on Brexit. In case there is a no deal Brexit the date will be brought forward to 31 December 2020.

In case you have not completed 5 years in the UK as an EU national then you will apply for temporary status and will be granted Leave to Remain Status (LTR) and will have to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain in the UK after completing the 5 years. It is still unclear what new requirements will be applicable after the deadline of 31 December 2020 or 30 June 2021.

When does the application process start for EU settlement? Well, the scheme is open from 29th March 2019 and about 150,000 people have already been granted status under the EU settled scheme since 1 January 2019 under the pilot project – test phase.

Who all can and cannot apply?

At present during the test phase national of EU nations with a valid passport can apply. Also, family members of EU nationals with a residence card with a biometric chip and ‘EU right to reside’ on the back can apply for the scheme. Irish Citizens don’t need to apply to stay in the UK after the UK leaves the EU because they will have the same rights as they have now.

Those with British Citizenship or Irish Citizenship or dual citizenship (EU national with British citizenship) cannot apply. Also, those who have indefinite leave to remain or enter the UK need not apply.

EU settled status

Until the last date of application i.e. 30th June 2021, the rights of EU, EEA and Swiss citizens living in the UK will remain the same and after that those with the successful applicant will be able to continue living in the UK. They will be given either pre-settled status (LTR) or settled status (ILR). You don’t have a choice to choose between these two, but depending upon how long you have been living in the UK at the time of application, you will be given either pre-settled status or settled status. Your rights will also be different for both the status.

Rights you get with settled status

You can work in the UK and use the NHS also. You can study, access public funds such as pensions provided you are eligible and travel both in and outside the UK.

After you got settled status your any child born in the UK will automatically be a British Citizen.

Documents required for application

You need to submit proof of following at the time of application.

  1. Your identity proof like a valid passport and
  2. Your continuous residence in UK proof. However, you don’t need this if you have a valid permanent residence card or valid indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK.

If you are looking to apply for EU settled or Pre-Settled Status you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261.

What happens if my Application is Refused?

If your application is refused you will be granted right to Administrative Review, which needs to be exercised within 28 days.

 

 

 

 

Naturalization – Good Character Requirement

If one wants to apply to become a British Citizen then he/she is required to meet the good character requirement. Majority of the people who are above 10 years of age and who apply for British Citizenship need to meet this criterion of good character. Home Office in the UK assesses whether an individual applying for British Citizenship is to be considered of good character or not. In order to assess good character, various considerations are carried out by Home Office which includes criminal offenses, financial stability, compliance with UK immigration laws etc. Should the applicant not meet the Good Character requirement the application will be refused.

Aspects, which are considered for good character requirement

  • Whether or not the applicant has disrespected the law in any manner or is not ready to follow the law.
  • Whether or not applicant been involved or been associated with war crimes, crimes against humanity or genocide, terrorism or other actions in any manner.
  • Whether or not the applicant failed to pay taxes.
  • Whether or not the applicant has been involved in any kind of notorious activities, which raise serious doubts on their standing in the local community.
  • Whether or not the applicant has been deliberately dishonest or deceptive with the UK Government.
  • Whether or not applicant avoided immigration control in any manner.
  • Whether or not the applicant was previously rejected the UK citizenship or citizenship of another country.

 

Apart from the above, you also need to know that the assessment of your good character also includes any circumstances that may have occurred to you outside the UK, not just in the UK. You must disclose all offenses you were involved in or associated with, no matter how minor they were according to you. You should not hide anything because if you fail to disclose something which the Home Office comes to know about eventually in their own investigations, then there is strong possibility that your application will be rejected on this basis of failing to disclose. If you do this and it is caught then you may face the claims of dishonesty, which will damage your immigration history quite significantly. And you should always remember that the Good Character requirement applies not just on adults but also to children above the age of 10.

There have been detrimental changes as well to paragraphs 9.5 and 9.7 in recent times that cover issues surrounding compliance with immigration law.

 

Fines and Fixed Penalty Notices

If you have received a traffic offense imposed by police or any other authority such as Fixed Penalty Notices, Penalty Charge Notices and Penalty Notices for Disorder, traffic rule violations, environmental and civil violations then you need to pay the fine and if you do so then you don’t need to bother as receiving an FPN fine does not form part of a person’s criminal record as there is no admission of guilt. So, this will not affect your good character requirement.

However, if you fail to pay and so you faced criminal proceedings as a result of this or you received numerous FPN suggesting that there is a pattern for behavior from your side which calls into question your character then the Home Office decision maker will consider all these factors when assessing your good character requirement.

 

How do criminal convictions and sentences affect the Good Character Requirement?

 

You can note below sentence and its impact on your application for British Citizenship.

 

  • If you got 4 years or more imprisonment sentence then your application will normally be refused.
  • If you got a sentence of imprisonment between 12 months and 4 years then your application will normally be refused unless 15 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • If you got a sentence of imprisonment for up to 12 months then your application will normally be refused unless 10 years have passed since the end of the sentence.
  • If you got a non-custodial sentence or other out of court disposal that is recorded on a person’s criminal record then your applications will normally be refused if the conviction occurred in the last 3 years.

So, you should always keep in mind about good character requirement when applying for British Citizenship as naturalization. For any assistance, you can contact Visa and Migration Ltd on 02034111261.

 

 

 

The EU Settled Status

After Brexit, UK will leave the European Union in March 2019 and as a result, EU nationals will have to apply for a new settled status. This new EU settled status is the new indefinite leave to remain (ILR) status, which will protect the rights of non-UK EU citizens after separation of UK from EU in March 2019. So, this means that if you are an EU citizen and you along with your family want to continue to live in the UK after 31st December 2020 then you can apply for settled status. If you get EU settled status then you will be able to continue to live and work in the UK under this scheme. The deadline to apply will be 30 June 2021. You may be able to apply after this date if you are joining a family member with settled status in the UK.

Once you get settled status you can stay in the UK for as long as you wish to and you can also apply for British Citizenship provided you meet the eligibility requirements. Under this scheme, you will be able to spend up to 2 years outside the UK in a row without losing your settled status. However, this time limit is still subject to approval by Parliament. If you have children in the future after you have got settled status then they will automatically be British Citizens.

 

Rights you get with settled status

After receiving settled status you will be entitled to some rights, which are as following:

  • You can work in the UK;
  • You can use NHS;
  • You can get an education or continue your study;
  • You can access public funds such as benefits and pensions, provided you are eligible for them;
  • You can bring your family members to the UK after 31 December 2020; and
  • You can travel in and out of the UK.

 

Who should apply?

You need to be eligible in order to apply for settled status. Those eligibility conditions are the following:

  • You need to be an EU citizen, or a family member of an EU citizen – including a durable partner or a child dependent under the age of 21 years;
  • If you have been living in the UK continuously for 5 years means that you have ‘continuous residence’;
  • If you have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

If you have lived in the UK for less than 5 years, then you will be able to apply for ‘pre-settled status’ instead of settled status. Also, you will need to apply despite the fact that you are an EU citizen married to a British citizen.

 

Those who are non-EU nationals

Those who are from outside EU can also apply provided they are in a relationship with EU citizen as one of the following:

  • They are a spouse or civil partner.
  • An unmarried partner having a residence card which proves their relationship.

Apart from being a spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner one who is from outside EU can also be related to an EU citizen, their spouse or civil partner as one of the following:

  • Their child, grandchild or great-grandchild under 21 years old.
  • They can be a dependent child above 21.
  • They can be a dependent parent, grandparent or great-grandparent.
  • They can be their dependent relatives with a residence card, which proves their relationship.

However, you will not be required to apply if you meet the following:

  • You are an Irish Citizen.
  • You already have ILR to live in the UK.
  • You have indefinite leave to enter the UK.

But your family members will need to apply if they are outside UK and Ireland.

 

The possibility of applying for settled status before completing 5 years

In following events you EU nationals will be able to apply for a settled status without completing the 5 years residence –

  • You have stopped working or being self-employed due to accident or illness and have lived in the UK for 2 years or married to or in a civil partnership with a British Citizen.
  • Having reached the state pension age and were working or self-employed in the UK for 1 year and have lived in the UK for 3 years.
  • If you are EU citizen and started you work or self-employment in an EU country and have lived and worked or been self-employed in the UK for 3 years and you return to your UK home once a week. (family members are also eligible for settled status)
  • If your EU family member has died and you have lived in the UK at least 2 years before their death. Their death was as a result of an accident at work or occupational disease.

 

Retention of Residence for Non-EU nationals

If you are a non-EU national and were married to an EU national you may be eligible for settled status after living for 5 years in the UK – if less than 5 years then you may be eligible for pre-settled status

  • You EU –Citizen family member dies and you have lived in the UK for at least 1 year with your EU Family member;
  • You are a parent and have a custody of a child or court order for the child to live with you;
  • On termination of marriage or civil partnership – you have been married or a civil partner for 3 years and have lived in the UK for 1 year; or have custody of an EU citizen child, or have right to access the to a child of EU citizen where court has ordered such access; or you have been a victim of domestic violence whilst your marriage or civil partnership was subsisting.

When to apply?

You can apply for a new EU settlement scheme from March 2019 when the scheme will fully open. Last day for applying will be 30th June 2021. After this date, you may be able to apply if you are joining a family member who has settled or pre-settled status in the UK. You will be able to apply online application form.

 

Cost of application

The Home Office will charge a fee of £65 for adults and £32.50 for those under 16 on the date of application.