Important Information on Settlement Scheme for EU Nationals living in the UK
Important Information on Settlement Scheme for EU Nationals living in the UK:
What is the settlement scheme and why is it necessary?
The UK is due to leave the European Union at 11pm UK time (midnight continental Europe time) on 29 March 2019. The UK is still a member of the European Union (EU) until this time. The UK and the EU have been negotiating an agreement to take effect as soon as the UK leaves the EU. This is known as the ‘Withdrawal Agreement’, and as yet there has been no final agreement reached between the UK and the EU.
If an agreement between the UK and the EU is reached before 29 March 2019, the UK will enter into a ‘transition’ or ‘implementation’ period from 30 March 2019 until 31 December 2020 (this period might be extended).
Do I have to apply under the settlement scheme?
If an agreement between the UK and EU is reached, EU citizens, non-EU EEA citizens and the eligible family members of both who are in the UK beyond 31 December 2020 will need to have immigration permission (either through the settlement scheme or through another category of the Immigration Rules as they will be from January 2021). Please note that those who enter the UK before 31 December 2020 will have until 30 June 2021 to apply under the scheme.
For the same reason, those who have a documented right of permanent residence under EU law will need to apply under the scheme before the end of the transition period (or under another category of the Immigration Rules), as the right of permanent residence is an EU right which will no longer be recognised once the UK has left the EU (and after the implementation period if there is one). Those with a document confirming permanent residence can apply for free under the scheme, and will (if successful) be granted 'settled status'.
Certain eligible family members who have not entered the UK by 31 December 2020 may still be able to apply under the settlement scheme after the deadline, if the relationship with the EU citizen was formed by this date. It will also be open to a child later born to someone granted permission under the scheme.
If no agreement is reached EU, non-EU EEA and Swiss citizens and all eligible family members will not be able to come to the UK on the same basis as now once free movement has ended. However, EU citizens and their eligible family members who are resident in the UK before 11pm on 29 March 2019 (including those who are temporarily absent) will be able to apply under the settlement scheme to obtain 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status. However, see settlement scheme – if no agreement is reached.
The settlement scheme has been designed to be very straightforward and user-friendly and has been tested under three pilots (with modifications made to the application throughout these pilots).
In order to apply under the settlement scheme you do not have to be ‘exercising a right to reside’. This means if you are an EU citizen you will not have to be in the UK as a ‘worker’, ‘student’ or ‘self-sufficient person’ etc. Therefore, there is no requirement under the scheme to provide evidence that you have comprehensive sickness insurance.