Settled Status for EU National
New information has been provided via the official Gov.UK website which gives a brief description of what to expect from EU Citizens in the upcoming Brexit. Negotiations are still ongoing and an estimated cut –off date of no earlier than 29 March 2017 or after the UK leave the EU will be agreed upon on. European law will no longer apply and the status of EU Citizens will fall under UK Law.
A new system will be put in place that will make the application process for EU citizens ”easy to use” in an attempt to better support applicants. The UK recognises that EU citizens and businesses contribute immensely to the UK and will, therefore, attempt to make the process easy for applicants wishing to remain.
Applying for settled status will be made available to applicants before Brexit takes place and will most likely continue to be available two years after as a grace period. A new online application system will be running in 2018 to aid this process.
“Settled status” will be issued to EU Citizens that have lived in the UK for a continuous period of 5 years, allowing them to stay indefinitely. EU citizens that have not continuously lived in the UK for a period of 5 years continuously, prior to cut-off date will still be able to apply for settled status once they have satisfied said period. Settled status following 5 years in the UK will also be issued to family dependants that join EU citizen, or that are already living with them before Brexit.
Whilst still settled in the UK, EU citizens will continue to have access to benefits and pensions as they already do, as well as healthcare and education.
The requirement for settled status would still be the same as is currently. EU Citizens would have to satisfy 5 years continuous and lawful residence period in the UK whilst exercising their treaty rights. Having comprehensive sickness insurance is no longer a requirement when applying for settled status. EU Citizens that are self-sufficient, working, seeking employment, students or self-employed would satisfy such requirements as per the Free Movement Directive. There will be no requirement to detail every entry or exit from the UK as this will not be checked. The status will be granted to those that make a valid application prior to the cut-off date including family members who are lawfully residing in the UK.
Grounds for refusal prescribed in the withdrawal agreement will apply where an EU Citizen has not met the requisite amount of years for residency or if they have any criminal convictions or are a risk to the public.
A new system will be developed in order to make the process of applying for settlement as an EU citizen, or family member speedier and less complex by also reducing the amount of additional evidence required when making the application, as there will be more existing government data available to the Home Office. A request for additional documents will be made by the Home Office if your case worker requires further evidence in order to prevent the application being refused over a simple error. The fees involved will cost no more than approximately £73 and unlike other applications, EU Citizens will not be required to have their fingerprints taken, they will, however, require a recent photograph of themselves and an identity document.
The process of applying for settled status will be unlike the current process when confirming Permanent Residence for EU Citizens. If you already have a Permanent Residence Certificate you may exchange this for a settled status at a reduced fee following security checks confirming you are still resident in the UK.
There are no rules or details announced yet for EU Citizens that arrive in the UK after the cut-off date. Once the UK leaves the EU, succeeding 2 years from implementation, you will be required to evidence your right to legally work in the UK. There will be a 2 year grace period which will allow EU citizens to apply for settled status.
More information will be released by the relevant body in time, further detailing and confirming the new settled status for EU Citizens.
Need UK Immigration Advice? Contact Visa and Migration on 0203 4111 261