EU Settlement Scheme
deadline: 1 month
3 June 2021
30 June 2021 is the last date in which EU, EEA and Swiss citizens can submit an application for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS).
First opened in March 2019, the EU Settlement Scheme is designed to help Europeans secure their residency status and retain their right to live and work in the UK after the Brexit grace period ends on 30 June. The scheme is open to EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK before 31 December 2020.
With just four weeks to go until the deadline, here’s a reminder on who should apply, how the application process works and what rights the scheme will grant you as a European citizen living in the UK post-Brexit.
Who needs to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme?
EU, EEA and Swiss citizens who were living in the UK by 31 December 2020 should apply to the scheme before the June deadline if they have not already done so. You can also apply to join your EU, EEA or Swiss family member, as long as they started living in the UK by 31 December 2020.
You do not need to apply to the scheme if:
- You have indefinite leave to enter or remain in the UK
- You are an Irish citizen (including British and Irish dual citizenship)
- You are a ‘frontier worker’ or have a Frontier Workers Permit.
The application process
Applications to the EU Settlement Scheme are free of charge and are submitted online. The application can be submitted using a device such as a laptop or smartphone. You will need a valid passport or national identity card to prove your identity, and you will also need to provide proof of your residence in the UK.
To assist those applying, Smith Stone Walters has created a handy video guide, which explains the application process step by step.
What is settled and pre-settled status?
After you have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you will receive a letter from the Home Office confirming the outcome of your application. If your application is successful, you will be granted either settled or pre-settled status.
Which status you get depends on how long you’ve been living in the UK when you apply. Your rights will be different depending on which status you are granted:
- Settled status is usually granted to those who have lived in the UK for a continuous five-year period (known as ‘continuous residence’). You can stay in the UK for as long as you like if you have been granted settled status.
- Pre-settled status is usually granted to those who have not lived in the UK for five years in a row. You can stay in the UK for a further five years from the date you are granted pre-settled status. You can apply to switch to settled status as soon as you’ve had five years’ continuous residence.
With settled or pre-settled status, you will be able to work and study in the UK, use the NHS for free, access public funds if you are eligible for them, and travel in and out of the UK.
After you have applied to the EU Settlement Scheme, you will not usually get a physical document to prove your status, but you can use the Home Office’s online tool to view and prove your immigration status.
Help with applying
If you have not yet submitted your application to the EU Settlement Scheme, time is running out. Failure to apply by the deadline could mean you lose your existing rights to continue living and working in the UK.
Smith Stone Walters is on hand to assist with EUSS applications and will work with you to ensure your application is submitted on time. To speak to a member of the team, please contact us today.