EU Settlement Scheme
The UK has now formally left the EU on 31 January 2020, but there is a transitional period until 11 p.m. on 31 December 2021. This means that free movement still applies until the end of the transitional period. This in turn means that nothing will change until then for the rights of nationals from countries in the EU, plus Norway and Switzerland.
However, if you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you and your family must apply for a status under the EU Settlement Scheme in order to continue living in the UK after 30 December 2020. If your application is successful, you’ll get either settled or pre-settled status. The status you get will depend on the length of time you have been living in the UK and any absences you had.
You have until 31 June 2021 to apply for this, but you must be physically present in the UK at some point before 31 December 2020.
You’ll usually get settled status if you’ve started living in the UK by 31 December 2020 and lived in the UK for a continuous 5-year period. Five years’ continuous residence means that for 5 years in a row you’ve been in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period. There are limited exceptions where longer absences are allowed.
If you do not have 5 years’ continuous residence when you apply, you’ll usually get ‘pre-settled’ status. You must have started living in the UK by 31 December 2020. You can then apply to change this to ‘settled’ status once you’ve got 5 years’ continuous residence. You must do this before your pre-settled status expires.
The EU Settlement Scheme is open, and you must apply now if you meet the criteria. The deadline for applying is 30 June 2021.
If you need guidance on immigration law, contact our experienced immigration solicitors today on: 020 7427 5970 or firstname.lastname@example.org.