Hundreds of thousands of applications for settled status that have not yet been made

Recent Government figures suggest that there are hundreds of thousands of applications for settled status that have not yet been made, which could mean that people may not register in time.

The EU Settlement Scheme allows all EU citizens to apply to continue living and working in the UK post-Brexit.

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

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

The application process is free and all applications are to be made online.

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.

A. 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.

B. 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.

The advice is to encourage any affected employees to apply as soon as possible due to the high numbers of outstanding applications.

Whilst it is likely that there will be a “grace” period, where there would be no automatic deportation of EU citizens who had not applied for settled status, we don’t know the exact procedures so it is best to ensure applications within plenty of time.

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