09 Jun 2021 5:31 PM
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen resident in the UK by 31 December 2020 then you and your family members need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme to continue living in the UK beyond 30 June 2021.

To apply visit gov.uk/eusettlementscheme

How to Apply:

You need to complete a short 3-step online application form.

It is free to apply.

Step 1 – Proof of Identity

Verify your identity and nationality using your passport, national identity card or biometric residence card.

When you apply, you can either:

  • scan your document and upload your photo using the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app using an Android phone, or an iPhone 7 or above
  • send your document in the post and upload your photo using the online application (you can take this yourself)
  • Scan your document

You can use the ‘EU Exit: ID Document Check’ app on:

  • an Android phone
  • an iPhone 7 or above

To scan your documents using a phone, you’ll need one of the following:

  • a valid EU, EEA or Swiss passport or ID card, if it’s biometric
  • a UK-issued biometric residence card

You can use someone else’s phone to prove your identity.

Send your document by post

You must send your document by post if you have a:

  • non-EU or non-EEA passport
  • biometric residence permit
  • non-biometric ID card

You can send other types of document in the post if you cannot use the ‘ID Document Check’ app.

Step 2 – Proof of Residence

Prove your residence by providing your National Insurance Number.  You may need to upload additional documents if you do not have a National Insurance Number.

To be eligible for settled status, you usually need to have lived in the UK, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period for 5 years in a row. You need to provide proof of this when you apply.

If you’ve not lived here for 5 years in a row you may still be eligible for pre-settled status.

If you arrived in the UK before 31 December 2020, you can give your National Insurance number to allow an automated check of your residence based on tax and certain benefit records.

If this check is successful, you will not need to provide any documents as proof of residence. You’ll only need to provide documents if you have been here for 5 years in a row, but there is not enough data to confirm this.

The Home Office will tell you immediately after you apply if you need to provide any documents. You should submit photos or scans of your documents through the online application form, rather than sending them by post.

Step 3 – Criminality Check

Complete the criminality check by declaring any criminal convictions.

You’ll be asked to declare convictions that appear in your criminal record in the UK or overseas.

You do not need to declare any of the following:

  • convictions that do not need to be disclosed (‘spent convictions’)
  • warnings (‘cautions’)
  • alternatives to prosecution, for example speeding fines

You will also be checked against the UK’s crime databases.

Successful applicants will get digital proof through an online service:

Gov.uk/view-prove-immigration-status.

Pre-settled status

If you receive pre-settled status, also known as limited leave to remain, you can stay in the UK for a period of 5 years.  Then you can apply for settled status.

Settled status

If you receive settled status, also known as indefinite leave to remain, there is no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK.  You can apply for British citizenship if you meet the requirements and want to apply.  You will usually be able to apply 12 months after you have received settled status.

How long does the process take?

It usually takes around 5 working days for complete applications to be processed if no further information is required, but it can take up to a month.  Delays can occur if incorrect information is submitted.  To avoid delays, applicants are advised:

-To give full disclosure of all the facts

-To keep screenshots of the application form and copies of all submitted documents in case of queries.

If you’ve left the UK

You may be able to get pre-settled status if you were living in the UK before 31 December but you were not here on that date. You must not have left the UK Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for more than 6 months in any 12 month period.

You may also be eligible if you were living in the UK by 31 December 2020, but you left the UK for one period of no more than 12 months for an important reason (for example childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or an overseas work posting). Your previous residence in the UK will count towards your eligibility for pre-settled status.

If you want to spend time outside the UK

If you have settled status, you can spend up to 5 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status.

If you’re a Swiss citizen, you and your family members can spend up to 4 years in a row outside the UK without losing your settled status.

If you have pre-settled status, you can spend up to 2 years in a row outside the UK without losing your status. You will need to maintain your continuous residence if you want to qualify for settled status.

If you have children after applying

If you get settled status, any children born in the UK while you’re living here will automatically be British citizens.

If you get pre-settled status, any children born in the UK will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status. They will only be a British citizen if they qualify for it through their other parent.

If you want to bring family members to the UK

If you’re a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, your close family members can join you if all of the following apply:

  • you were resident in the UK by 31 December 2020
  • your relationship with them began before 31 December 2020 (unless they’re a child born or adopted after that date)
  • the relationship still exists when they apply to join you

If your family member is from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK if they hold either a valid passport or identity card with a biometric chip.

If your family member is not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme from outside the UK. They must hold a relevant UK document, for example:

  • a residence card
  • a permanent residence card
  • a derivative residence card

Otherwise, they will need to apply for an EU Settlement Scheme family permit to come to the UK. Once they’re in the UK they can apply to the EU Settlement Scheme.

If your family member joined you on or after 1 April 2021, they must apply to the EU Settlement Scheme within 3 months of the date they arrived in the UK. For example if they arrive on 15 June 2021, they must apply by 15 September 2021.

If you cannot bring your family member under the EU Settlement Scheme, they may still be able to come here in a different way, for example on a family visa.

Family members of Swiss citizens

If you’re a Swiss citizen, you can also bring your spouse or civil partner to the UK until 31 December 2025 if both of the following apply:

  • your relationship with them began between 31 December 2020 and 31 December 2025
  • you are still in the relationship when they apply to join you.

Our specialist team of Brexit advisors will continue to keep clients updated on changes affecting individuals and businesses.  If you have any questions please contact us.