How to apply for the EU
Settlement Scheme if you
are outside the UK
May 17, 2019
Seven weeks after its full domestic launch, the EU Settlement Scheme is now open for people outside of the UK who wish to register their immigration status.
While all EEA and Swiss citizens residing in the UK must acquire settled or pre-settled status, the following information is most relevant to those citizens who usually live in the UK but who are currently abroad. For instance, if you wish to apply while overseas studying, doing national service or working.
Should the UK exit the EU without a Deal, the deadline to apply is 31 December 2020; if the UK leaves with a Deal, then it’s 30 June 2021. In either case, the applicant must be resident in the UK before those dates to be eligible to apply.
Absences from the UK
To prove their identity, EEA and Swiss citizens will need a valid passport or national identity card, and to provide a digital photo of their face.
To prove their length of residence, they will need to have lived in the UK for at least six months in any 12-month period for five years in a row. This information is usually checked via their National Insurance number.
However, if they have been away from the UK for less than six months in any 12-month period they can still be considered as being continuously resident in the UK and will not be required to provide evidence of these absences.
A single absence of up to 12 months for an important reason, such as studying or working abroad, can also be considered as continuous residence in the UK.
An absence of any length due to compulsory military service will be considered as continuous residence in the UK.
How to apply
The procedure is very similar to the one for those already residing in the UK. Applicants must first verify that they are eligible via the EU Exit: ID Document Check app which can be downloaded onto most phones.
They must use their current valid passport or national identity card with a biometric chip to scan their information.
Those who are not EEA or Swiss nationals must use their UK biometric residence permit (BRP) or card.
If you cannot scan your document
If you’re having difficulties with the phone app, you may mail your documents to the Home Office. But you must check first whether the laws of the country you are in allow you to send identity documents through the post.
Citizens outside of the EU are advised not to send their BRP to the UK by post, but instead contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre by email or by ringing the number below.
If you cannot post your identity document
Some countries in the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia and the Far East forbid the sending of identity documents across national borders, and may also require you to keep your identity on you at all times.
Please speak to your local authority to confirm whether this is the case. Again, contact the EU Settlement Resolution Centre for further information.
Resolution Centre (call from outside the UK)
Telephone: +44 (0) 203 080 0010
Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays), 8am to 8pm
Saturday and Sunday, 9.30am to 4.30pm
For help and assistance in filing an EUSS application please contact a member of the team at Smith Stone Walters.