Millions Of EEA Nationals Can Apply For The Settled Or Pre-settled Status – Do You Qualify?
On 30 March 2019, the government opened up the EU settlement scheme to EEA nationals residing in the UK and their family members. Those who qualify can now register for Settled Status and have their right to live and work in the UK indefinitely confirmed.
This blog is designed to help you understand your legal rights under the Settled Status scheme. However, if you have any questions, you can call our office on 020 7404 7933.
What is Pre and Settled Status under the Immigration Rules Appendix EU?
Under the new EU settlement scheme, EEA nationals and their family members will be able to apply for Settled Status, subject to having been resident in the UK for five years before the end of the implementation period 31 December 2020.
Eligibility conditions have been put into place for those EEA nationals, their family members, and persons wishing to be considered for Settled Status. To be eligible for Settled Status, the applicant must be:
- A relevant EEA citizen, a family member of one or a family member who has retained the right of residence via a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen, and who holds a permanent residence document (issued under the Regs) and no supervening event, has occurred (see section below for definition)
- A relevant EEA citizen, a family member of one, or a family member who has retained the right of residence via a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen, and there is valid evidence they hold ILR
- A relevant EEA citizen, a family member of one, or a family member who has retained the right of residence via a relationship with a relevant EEA citizen, or who is a person with a derivative or Zambrano right to reside; and who has accrued five years’ residence in any (or any combination) of those categories; and no supervening event has occurred (i.e. an absence from the UK and Islands for five consecutive years since the applicant last acquired permanent residence or completed a continuous qualifying period of five years)
- A relevant EEA citizen who has ceased activity and no supervening event has occurred
- A family member of a relevant EEA citizen who has ceased activity; they were a family member when activity ceased; and the EEA citizen has been/is being/would be granted settled status, and no supervening event has occurred
- A family member of a relevant EEA citizen who is deceased and who was at time of death a worker or self-employed; the EEA citizen was resident in the UK and Islands for two years before death, or the death was due to an accident at work or an occupational disease; the family member lived with them immediately before the death; and no supervening event has occurred.
- A child (under 21) of a relevant EEA citizen, or of their spouse or civil partner, where the EU citizen or their spouse / civil partner is being/has been granted ILR/ILE under Appendix EU or its Islands equivalent (or, if an Irish national, would be granted this if they applied). The marriage or civil partnership must have been contracted before the end of 2020 or, if later, then this must have been preceded by a durable partnership (evidenced by a residence card in that category) which was established and remained durable on that date.
In the event an EEA national or their family members meet all the above requirements except for the five years’ residence, an Applicant will be eligible for a grant of ‘Pre-Settled Status’. The Pre – Settled status will be granted under the following conditions
- Five years’ residence have not yet accrued by the time of the application, where all other requirements of the EU 11 of the Immigration Rules Appendix EU condition three are met; or
- Five years’ residence have not yet accrued by the time of the application, where all other requirements of EU12 of the Immigration Rules Appendix condition 3 are met OR where the parent of an applicant child, who is the spouse or civil partner of a qualifying British citizen, is being granted pre-settled status instead of ILR (in which case the child would otherwise be granted Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) in line even without having accrued 5 years’ residence in their own right).
How do I apply for Settled Status under the new scheme?
Applications for settled or pre-settled status are free and can be commenced here. Although the process seems straightforward, you should be aware that applications are subject to the suitability criteria, meaning it may be refused. There is normally no right of appeal for a refused application; however, you can apply for an Administrative Review.
If you are applying for Settled Status under the Zambrano route, you will need to submit a paper-based application.
Is there a deadline to obtain your status?
The deadline for applications to the EU settlement scheme for those residing in the UK is likely to end in December 2020 if the UK leaves the EU with a deal. However, there is a six months’ extension after the end of the planned “implementation period” during which freedom of movement rights will continue to apply in the UK. In this case, both the rights under free movement law and under the settlement scheme exist side by side, and one can apply for, and hold, both simultaneously.
How A Y & J Solicitors can help you
If you or your family have been affected by the changes to the Immigration Rules Appendix EU and wish to have your status confirmed, please get in touch with A Y & J Solicitors to ensure a smooth transition into a new era. Also, if your application for Settled Status has been refused, our team can assist you with applying for an Administrative Review.
Disclaimer: No material/information provided on this website should be construed as legal advice. Readers should seek an appropriate professional advice for their immigration matters.