With Britain set to leave the European Union on 29th March 2019, an EU Settlement Scheme will soon be in operation, allowing all EU citizens to apply to continue living and working in the UK post Brexit.

Settled status applies to all EU citizens

Individuals outside of the EU have different criteria and processes to follow to apply to stay in the UK

Who needs to apply?

All non-British citizens will need to apply if they are:

  • An EU citizen
  • A family member of an EU citizen
  • Born in the UK but not classed as a British Citizen
  • Married to a British Citizen and are from the EU
  • If they have a UK permanent residence document

Those that will not be eligible to apply are:

  • Citizens from outside of the EU
  • Those married to a British citizen and are from outside the EU

Irish citizens or those who already have indefinite leave to enter or remain do not need to apply.

To apply, they will need a:

  • Passport or national identity card
  • Place of residence (address) in the UK
  • Proof of relationship if married or in a relationship with a British or Settled UK citizen

When do they need to apply by?

The scheme is open to all EU citizens as of 30th March 2019. Some may be able to apply prior to this upon the scheme’s test run.

The deadline to apply is 30th June 2021 or 31 December 2020 if there is a ‘no-deal’ Brexit.

The application process is free when the scheme fully opens in March however; there is a fee of £65 for applications received during the test scheme, which is now open to eligible applicants. All applications are to be made online.

Different Status

If an application is successful, one of two statuses will be applied as indicated below.
Whichever status is issued, no paper documentation is provided (i.e. residents card) but the applicants will be emailed a link to review and prove their status.

1. Settled Status

If granted, this means EU citizens can stay, live and work in the UK indefinitely.

This means citizens will be able to enrol on education courses and have access to UK benefits and pensions (subject to eligibility).

Settled status is likely to be granted if the individual has lived in the UK continuously for 5 years or started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.

2. Pre-Settled Status

This status means EU citizens can live and work in the UK for up to a maximum of 5 years with the same rights they would receive as a permanently settled individual.

They must, however, reapply on the 5-year expiry to remain temporarily or permanently in the UK.

What if applications are unsuccessful?

This is to be confirmed, however, there is speculation of an appeals process and administrative review for unsuccessful applicants.

What do you need to consider as an employer?

CHECK NOW – rather than waiting until the scheme is fully open in March.

Discuss the application process with your employees and encourage or even help them with the application.

Even if this is just a brief discussion you can assess the likelihood of their future status and how this will affect your workforce planning.

KEEP UP TO DATE – penalties for right to work checks have been in place for many years and will continue to apply following Brexit.

It is important to keep up-to-date with any changes to these checks and applicable legislation to avoid any substantial fines.

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