When the UK leaves the European Union the rights of citizens of both the EU and the UK will change. Especially the residents of the EU who live and work in the UK. As part of the withdrawal preparations, the British government has implemented the EU Settlement Scheme.
This means that all EU citizens and any non-EU family members who want to stay in the UK will need to apply for settled status or pre-settled status under this scheme. Including the people who already have permanent residence documents. Citizens of Norway, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Norway (countries that have agreements with the EU) will also have to apply under the scheme.
Am I Eligible for Settled Status?
To be eligible to obtain settled status you need to have lived in the UK for a sustained five-year period. Settled status allows you to spend five years continuously outside of the UK without losing the right to live and work in the UK. It allows you to live and work in the UK indefinitely.
You’re entitled to apply for settled status if you move to the UK by the 31st of December 2020. This is the date the UK is set to leave the EU, with or without a deal. If you’re an EU citizen you can apply for pre-settled status without having to live in the UK for five years continuously.
Pre-settled status allows you to live and work in the UK and allow you to reach the five-year residency threshold needed to apply for settled status. If you spend six months a year outside the UK, you will lose your right to remain. This means you won’t be allowed to apply for settled status. However, there are some exceptions, but this is rare.
Who Can Apply?
As mentioned above, the EU settlement scheme is open to applications from the family of EU citizens. But who is allowed to apply:
- Spouses & civil partners.
- Durable partners (A partner whom you’ve cohabited for two years).
- Dependent children below the age of 21.
- Parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
- Any dependent relatives currently benefitting from freedom of movement and who have a document issued under EEA Regulations when you have applied for this before the 31st of December 2020.
- Family members who retain rights after a relationship ends, either through death or divorce
You can make an application through the EU Exit: Document ID Check app.
To confirm your settled status or pre-settled status, you will also need to be deemed “suitable” by the British government. The home office must be satisfied that you’re not a threat to public policy, security or health. There isn’t a high threshold for this test, but it’s worth mentioning. That’s why it’s important to declare any criminal convictions during the application process. If you don’t, this can mean your application is rejected.
If you need help applying for either pre-settled or settled status in High Wycombe, contact BP Collins Solicitors. Their team can help to apply and guide you through the process if any complications arise.