Applying for the EU settlement scheme: the countdown has begun

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We are now in the final phase of the post-Brexit transitional period. From an immigration perspective, this means EEA citizens only have three months to establish their residence in order to be able to live and work in the UK.

The deadline for new arrivals is 31 December 2020 at 23:00 hours. EEA citizens and their family members will then have an additional six-month period, until 30 June 2021, to submit an application to the EU settlement scheme. Once approved, they will obtain their settled or pre-settled status; if they have lived in the UK less than five years.

Applications will be assessed on the basis of having established residence in the UK prior to the deadline and will be subject to criminality checks. Having a job, a National Insurance number or a specific amount of money will not be necessary to submit an application, as long as the person can prove they were present in the UK prior to the end of 2020.

From 1 July 2021, employers will have to check that their staff have a legal basis for their stay in the UK via the EU Settlement Scheme online portal. A European passport or a residence card issued on the basis of the European Regulations will no longer suffice, and those companies wanting to employ foreign staff after this date will have to hold a Home Office sponsorship licence.

We continue to see cases where EEA citizens and their family members are unaware of having to make an application. It is mistakenly assumed that their old residence documentation will continue to be valid as it holds a “Permanent Residence” endorsement. This is not the case, and any European citizen (other than Irish nationals) who has not taken this step already should make arrangements to have their legal status confirmed by the Home Office before the deadline.

If you require additional information or assistance to make an application, or to apply for a licence for your business, please contact Marta Mendiondo.

Marta Mendiondo

Marta Mendiondo Head of Immigration

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