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 the separation of the UK from the 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 the following events you EU nationals will be able to apply for 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 an EU citizen and started your 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 custody of a child or court order for the child to live with you;
- On termination of a 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 the 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. The 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.