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The UK government released a new immigration scheme in March 2019, to ensure continuation of lawfully residing people under EU right to free movement, post Brexit. The EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) is a process to register for settled or pre-settled statuses for EU, EEA and Swiss nationals living in the UK. The deadline however for this aforementioned registration is set as 30th June 2020, attracting 5.61 million applications, literally flooding the Home Office near the end of May 2021. (EUSS statistics March 2021, table EUSS_RA_01).

Who can apply?

The scheme is eligible for;
The EU, EEA and Swiss citizens, living in the UK by 31st December, 2020.
Where your family members fall under the aforementioned categories or are an eligible person of Northern Ireland.
Children with separate applications.
Joining family members of relevant sponsors.
Persons with or who had a derivative or Zambrano right to reside.

People with indefinite leave to enter the UK, indefinite leave to remain in the UK, Irish citizens (including British and Irish dual citizenship), frontier workers or if exempted from immigration control, do not need to apply under the scheme.

How to apply?

The applications under the scheme are free of charge and can be remotely submitted via Home Office Website. For those who have not yet applied for the same and wish to stay in the UK post 30th June are strongly recommended to apply as soon as possible. Please contact info@ealaw-solicitors.com for any further assistance concerning the process.

Application Process

After submitting the application, its validity would be checked along with;
Required proof of arrival in UK before 31st December 2020
Continuous residence
Identity and nationality proof
Criminal records
Biometrics etc.

Post completion of all formalities, you would receive mail from the Home Office confirming your status via a digital certificate of validation.

The application can only be refused if the applicant is not a resident by 31st December 2020 or has any convictions or stands as a threat to national security.

Assessing family relationships

EU Settlement Scheme considers the following as family members eligible for application;
Civil partner
Specified spouse of civil partner of a Swiss citizen
Durable Partner
Resident by 11 pm on 31st December 2020 in the UK
Joining on or after 1st January 2021
Dependent parent or relative
Child under or over the age of 21
Family members of people from Northern Ireland, persons exempt from immigration control or frontier workers.

Pre-settled and settled status

For EU citizens or family, who did not finish 5 year of residency in the UK on 31st December 2020 would be granted pre-settlement status which can be later changed post finishing 5 years of residency. People with pre-settled status can spend 2 years in a row outside uK

For EU citizens or family, who have lived in the UK for 5 years in a row, or the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any 12 month period, on 31st December 2020, are eligible for settlement status. People with settled status can spend 5 years outside UK.

Right to appeal or administrative review

Anyone with a valid application under Appendix EU refused or granted pre-settlement status, will be able to challenge the decision of administrative review by appeal.

Employer actions

From 1st July 2021, the employers will start checking the legal stay approval on EUSS online portal, nullifying European passport or residence card issued on the basis of European Regulations. To ensure no harm on the employees, the employers can make conscious effort to request the existing staff to file applications without delay. Display electronically and in the office, the materials provided by government to remind filing of application. This is crucial in order to avoid future company interruptions and potential penalties for unauthorised workers.