European Union leaders agreed in the early morning hours on Thursday to extend the Brexit deadline until October 31, 2019. The UK is still a member of the European Union (EU) until this time.
Worried about Brexit? Don't be... If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK, you and your family members can continue living in the UK after 31st December 2020 by applying to the EU Settlement Scheme.
What is an EU Settlement Scheme?
If you are a citizen of an EU country (including Switzerland, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) currently living in the UK and intend to continue living in the UK, you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30th June 2021 to remain in the country legally. This Scheme allows you and your family members to continue to live, work, study and also travel in and out of the UK. This means you continue to be eligible for public services such as:
Public funds and pensions
as well as applying for British citizenship (if you meet the requirements and want to apply).
Who will need to apply?
The following people will need to apply to the scheme:
If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen.
If you are /n EU, EEA or Swiss citizen and married to a British citizen.
If you are not an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen but your family member is.
If you were born in the UK but are not a British citizen.
If you have a permanent residence document.
If you are overseas (anywhere in the world) and wanting to join a family member of an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen living in the UK, you can do so by 31st December 2020. If you are not already living in the UK by that date then you will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme after that date if the following requirements are met:
your family member has either 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status (explained below).
your relationship began before 31st December 2020.
you remain a close family member for example a spouse, civil partner, unmarried partner, a dependant child/grandchild or a dependant parent/grandparent.
What will you get after applying?
If you apply to the EU Settlement Scheme successfully, your rights and status of an EU citizen living in the UK will remain the same. So you will be able to continue to live and work and enjoy the benefits of public services the same as British citizens. Once you have applied you will be given either a 'pre-settled' status or a 'settled' status. The status you receive depends on how long you have lived in the UK before you applied.
What is a settled status?
If you have been living in the UK by 31st December 2020 (or 29th March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal) for 5 consecutive years (known as continuous residency) or more then you will be given a settled status.
To have continuous residency for 5 years, you will need to have lived in the UK for 5 years in a row for at least 6 months in any 12 month period before the application is made.
The exceptions for leaving the UK:
One period of up to 12 months with a reasonable explanation. This could include childbirth, serious illness, study, vocational training or a post for overseas work.
Compulsory military service of any length.
What receiving a settled status means:
There will be no time limit on how long you can stay in the UK.
You will be able to apply for British citizenship after this (depending on eligibility).
You will also be able to leave the UK for up to 5 years in a row without losing your status.
If you have any children born in the UK, they will automatically be British citizens.
What is pre-settled status?
If you have been living in the UK by 31st December 2020 (or 29th March 2019 if the UK leaves the EU without a deal) for less than 5 consecutive years then you will be given a pre-settled status. If you reach 5 years continuous residency at anytime after this date, you can apply to change this to a settled status.
What receiving a pre-settled status means:
You can stay in the UK for a period of only 5 years, however this allows you to remain in the UK until you have reached 5 years continuous residency. You may then switch to a settled status and have no time limit of living in the UK.
You will be able to leave the UK for only 2 years in a row without losing your status. However, if you want to qualify for settled status then you will need to maintain your continuous residence in the UK.
If you have any children born in the UK, they will be automatically eligible for pre-settled status. They will only be British citizens if they qualify for it through their other parents.
How we can help
We at EA Law Solicitors have an award winning team of immigration solicitors with vast knowledge and experience on the EU Settlement Scheme. Our experienced solicitors can provide help and guidance to ensure a successful application. Our aim is to make the process smooth and successful for our clients and without unnecessary delay.
If you would like to find out more about the EU Settlement Scheme or Citizenship or how to apply, please complete the form below for a complimentary online/telephone enquiry with one of our senior advisors. You can also reach us on -
0203 786 1165